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3 Oklahoma schools up for $100,000 fitness center

Three Oklahoma schools could receive $100,000 fitness centers through a national grant.

Gov. Kevin Stitt's office announced on Tuesday the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils has chosen Oklahoma as the recipient of three fitness centers from the organization’s 2020 DON’T QUIT! Campaign.

Three elementary or middle schools will be nominated for the donation. The foundation began accepting nominations Tuesday. The deadline for applications is March 20.

“To improve outcomes in Oklahoma, we must begin promoting wellness through education at a young age,” Stitt said in the announcement. “I am excited to work with the NFGFC to offer this great opportunity to our elementary and middle schools across the state, and I look forward to seeing how these state-of-the-art facilities will help to move the needle in improving the health outcomes for the next generation of Oklahomans.”

Schools must fill out a short application and complete a written essay or video. The foundation has provided fitness centers in 32 states and Washington, D.C., from the DON’T QUIT! Campaign, with a goal to reach all 50 states.

Each fitness center is financed from public and private partnerships. The donation doesn’t rely on taxpayer dollars or state funds, according to the announcement.

“Childhood obesity is a serious problem that can follow a child into adulthood,” said Jake Steinfeld, chairman of the NFGFC. “I’ve declared war on this preventable disease and it’s inspiring to see elected leaders like Governor Kevin Stitt immediately jump on board to join the battle and welcome us into the great state Oklahoma. Every governor we’ve partnered with recognizes that obesity is neither a Democratic nor Republican issue, it’s a kids’ issue and all have vowed to do everything possible to help.”