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Sarah Bush Lincoln partners with local and area schools to bring Project Fit America to selected schools. So far, Casey, Kansas, Neoga, Oakland and Martinsville have been awarded grants for the national public fitness program.

The program, funded by Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Foundation, provides fitness equipment and curriculum to schools to help students make activity, fitness and health a part of their everyday school experience.

The grant provides indoor and outdoor fitness equipment, teacher training and physical education curriculum support. The outdoor equipment is open so the community may use it as well.

The equipment is specifically designed to target areas in which children generally fail fitness tests, focusing on lower-body, abdominal, upper body and cardiovascular endurance. The outdoor equipment includes devices such as the horizontal ladder, sit-up station and parallel bars, while the indoor devices include weighted hula hoops and fitness cups, among others.

The curriculum that accompanies the equipment is designed to increase the amount of time children are active on a weekly basis, while teaching students responsibility for their overall health, teamwork, sportsmanship and how to build self-esteem as well as lessons on nutrition and other health-related topics.

For more information on Project Fit America, call Healthy Communities at 217 345-6822.