Wellmont, Foundation, Wellmont LiveWell, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Team To Enhance Fitness At Bristol School

Wellmont Foundation, Wellmont LiveWell and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals have teamed with Project Fit America for another year to create new opportunities for children to be active, fit and healthy.

The four organizations have selected Holston View Elementary School as this year's recipient of a grant for fitness equipment and programming materials. The school will receive state-of-the-art outdoor equipment designed to increase children's chance to achieve success on fitness tests. The grant also provides a dynamic curriculum with games, activities and challenges for children to use indoors and outdoors.

This latest grant continues the relationship the foundation and Children's Miracle Network have enjoyed with Project Fit since 2000. The custom grant program has resulted in bringing Project Fit programs and equipment to 16 schools in 14 cities in the region.

"This program is part of the long-term commitment we have made to improve health in schools, children and their families," said Todd Norris, Wellmont Health system's senior vice president for system advancement and Wellmont Foundation's president. "Our partnership with Children's Miracle Network and Project Fit has enabled us to positively impact the quality of life for children in our region, including those in Bristol City Schools."

Test results of the Project Fit initiative show significant increases in students' fitness levels - nationwide increases of 40 percent in upper body strength, 30 percent in abdominal strength and 84 percent in cardiovascular endurance. These outcomes are the basis for the foundation's continued collaboration with Project Fit to promote health and fitness in local schools.

"Research shows 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," said Stacey Cook, Project Fit's executive director.

"We applaud Wellmont Foundation and Children's Miracle Network for taking the leadership role to bring this program to the community. This exemplary partnership demonstrates we can all work together to make a difference to improve the health of children."

On Friday, Sept. 27, from 2-3 p.m. at Holston View, a community celebration will showcase the latest equipment and programming.

The event will include students demonstrating the Project Fit program and using the equipment, It will also feature the following guest speakers: Gary Lilly, Bristol City Schools' director; David Welch, chairman of the Bristol school board; and Mike Mays, Tennessee High School's head football coach.

Project Fit is a national nonprofit organization that is dedicated to getting kids fit by creating sustainable and innovative physical education programs. Project Fit is in its 23rd year of working with more than 870 schools in 300 cities and 42 states. To learn more, please visit www.projectfitamerica.org.

For more than 25 years, Wellmont has served as the regional affiliate of Children's Miracle Network. All money raised locally for Children's Miracle Network stays in the area to benefit children's health. Wellmont uses proceeds to purchase equipment for its pediatric departments, neonatal intensive care unit and emergency departments and to fund community partnerships that advance children's health.

Pledges to Children's Miracle Network can be made at any time by visiting www.wellmontfoundation.org. More information is also available at www.childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org.

Wellmont LiveWell is a community initiative launched in July that is geared toward improving the health status of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The program urges the area's residents to commit to important habits, such as regular exercise, healthy diets and maintenance of proper blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and offers many ways to accomplish these new benchmarks.