Heyworth, IL,
16:33 PM

OSF HealthCare brings Project Fit America to Heyworth Junior/Senior High School

The PFA program will enable our student to continue to experience and strive to perform at their very best levels at all times. Though this program we will have the ability to change our student’s thinking about their personal well-being and fitness.
April Hinkle, Principal, Heyworth Junior/Senior High School

Heyworth Junior/Senior High School is official a model school for Project Fit America (PFA), a national public charity dedicated to getting kids fit since 1990. Friday the school hosted its Opening Day Kick Off and Fitness Celebration for the program.

Project Fit America is a public charity dedicated to keeping kids fit. The OSF HealthCare Foundation provided the school with a nearly $30,000 grant to get the program off the ground. The grant provides the PFA program to the school, including specially designed fitness equipment and a dynamic curriculum using the equipment.

Today's celebration featured a competition between staff and a handful of eigth graders. All participants used a wide range of indoor Project Fit America equipment.

Elizabeth Cleveland is an OSF HealthCare Family Nurse Practitioner who practices in Heyworth. She says this investment sets these students up for a lifetime of healthy habits.

"It takes fitness outside the box," said Cleveland. "From normal challenges from trying to do a pull-up, to providing equipment that give alternatives that do activities that otherwise some children wouldn't be able to do, or add modifications. A way to look at their fitness outside of the same trends that we've done for many years in the past."

Elizabeth Cleveland_1

The program also teaches character development, sportsmanship, teamwork and leadership skills. PFA also provides support to the schools for two years along with on-site training with each PE Teacher.

"For the school as a whole it's very exciting, because we're coming up with a new curriculum for our students to be involved in, that's not only good fitness habits, it's fun fitness habits," said April Hinkle, Principal, Heyworth Junior/Senior High School. "So adding some competition, some equipment, it's a fun to the mix that just makes being fit totally different than how we looked at it back in the day."


April Hinkle

Research does show that not only is physical education important for a child’s physical development, it actually helps kids read and learn math. Physically active kids are better learners. Quality fitness in education has a direct impact not only a child’s health but their academic success.

This is a continued roll out of the Project Fit America program previously launched in 2013 at Benjamin and Oakland Elementary Schools in Bloomington and at Prairieland and Stevenson Elementary Schools in 2015 with funding support from the OSF Health Care Foundation.