Students at Berkmar Middle School have access to all kinds of machines to help them achieve academically—computers, calculators and now cardio machines.
The Lilburn school was only one of three in the state of Georgia to receive a brand new Live Positively Fitness Center on Monday.
The exercise facility was made possible through a $100,000 grant from the National Foundation of Governors’ Fitness Councils. The money is awarded to schools that actively promote physical fitness.
“Academics and fitness goes hand and hand,” said the foundation’s Chairman Jake Steinfeld to the crowd of students. “When you feel good about yourself, you can achieve anything you want in life.”
Gov. Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal were also on hand for the ribbon cutting. Deal is excited about this opportunity and a chance to do something to promote healthier lifestyles. In 2009, Georgia had the second highest rate of childhood obesity in the nation.
“We were number two. We moved to number 17. But we still have a long way to go,” said Deal. “I want us to be the state with the least childhood obesity.”
The new workout room includes cardio equipment including treadmills, elliptical machines and stationary bikes. There are also strength training machines and even active video games where students have to run and jump to play the games.
Students like Terrence Bryant like the new facility. “It’s great! It’s way better,” said the eighth grader while on the chest press machine. He says it is his favorite piece of equipment “because it helps me build upper body strength.”
Physical Education teacher Dana Griffith helped write the grant application. She is looking forward to her first class in the new facility. “Six classes a day will get to come in here and get to use the facility. And after school it will be open to faculty,” said Griffith.
Steinfeld started the foundation in California in 2006 with the help of then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is also the CEO of Body by Jake and founded FitTV. Schools in Delaware, New Jersey and West Virginia will also receive new workout rooms thanks to Steinfeld’s foundation. Funding comes from corporations like Coca-Cola.