Neoga, fitness equipment

Neoga schools recently received new fitness equipment thanks to a grant from SBL Healthy Kids Program and WomenConnected.

NEOGA -- Students at Neoga schools have more options to stay active during physical education classes.

The school recently received new fitness equipment including medicine balls, curl up and pushup training mats, heart rate monitors and a balance set for elementary students, thanks to a $1,000 grant from Sarah Bush Lincoln’s Healthy Kids program and WomenConnected, a giving circle within the SBL Health Foundation.

“We feel it is very important to encourage the fitness of our youth in ways that will excite them and to encourage them to pursue a lifestyle of movement and fitness throughout their lives,” Neoga physical education teacher Maureen Letizia said. “We are very thankful to receive the new equipment.”

The students were excited to help unload, assemble and test the equipment as soon as it was delivered on Nov. 21. “These items will enhance both the fitness testing and the training we do in our physical education program,” Letizia said.

The SBL Healthy Kids program has a long partnership with Letizia and Neoga schools. The school was awarded a Project Fit America grant in 2010, which provided outdoor and indoor fitness equipment, and students earned an indoor rock-climbing wall in 2014 as part of a SBL Healthy Heroes challenge.

In addition, when Neoga elementary lost its PE teachers due to budget cuts, Sarah Bush Lincoln provided “PE in a Box” items to assist classroom teachers with the physical education curriculum.

Letizia is an award-winning PE teacher and a Project Fit America coach who assists other schools when they are awarded these grants. “She really loves the students and helps to make a difference in their lives every day,” SBL Healthy Communities Director Laura Bollan said.

For more information about Sarah Bush Lincoln’s Healthy Kids Education program, call Healthy Communities at 217-345-6828.

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