The deadline is approaching for schools to apply to win a state-of-the-art DON’T QUIT! fitness center. Three elementary or middle schools in Iowa will be selected.

The DON’T QUIT! campaign aims to reverse the growing trends in mental illness and childhood obesity. Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Education are partnering with the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils to bring this opportunity to Iowa schools.

The councils’ goal is to build a nation of the fittest, healthiest kids in the world. To date, it has provided fitness centers to 42 states plus Washington, DC. This year, the campaign will benefit four more states: Iowa, Vermont, Wyoming, and Montana. Each fitness center is financed through public-private partnerships with companies like The Coca-Cola Company, Amerigroup Foundation, Wheels Up and Nike, and does not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding. Fitness Supply provides the fitness equipment.

Applications are due Sunday, March 26. Schools are asked to submit a short video expressing why they deserve a new fitness center and what they plan to do with it.

Physical activity and exercise are shown to help prevent and treat more than 40 chronic diseases, enhance individual health and quality of life, and reduce health-care costs. In schools, studies show that physical activity improves academic achievement, increases confidence and self-esteem, reduces discipline problems, cuts absenteeism, and fosters better interpersonal relationships.

Read more about the council.

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