Bowie Elementary opens fitness center with $10,000 from game show

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Students and staff at James Bowie Elementary unveiled a new fitness center this week that was funded with winnings from the national TV game show “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?”

The Bowie Bobcat Fitness Center features treadmills, bicycles, a ping-pong table, and more, and it’s open to students, staff, and the greater surrounding community. Bowie was able to open the in-school fitness center after the school’s fourth- and fifth-graders appeared on the TV game show in June.

“This fitness center will help us continue to promote a culture of health here at Bowie Elementary,” Principal Caroline Wilson said.

The producers of “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?” contacted the Bowie Elementary principal after the school gained recognition as one of six schools nationally to receive the Gold National Healthy Schools Award at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation 2014 Leaders Summit. Physical education teacher Sharon Foster, a National Healthy Schools Program ambassador, has helped spearhead the health-oriented effort at the school.

Jeannine Rios, a program manager at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, commended Foster for her hard work and stressed the importance of healthy living for children.

“What we are trying to do is make changes in the school, which is where kids spend most of their day, so it’s a healthy place for them,” Rios said. “Childhood obesity is a serious issue, and we applaud Bowie for all they are doing to make sure their students are healthy and happy.”

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