Everybody Get Fit!
Project Fit America Equipment Unveiled at Taft
By Eugenia Moskowitz
Twenty-five thousand dollars worth of free outdoor fitness equipment, won by Washingtonville’s Taft Elementary School in a voting contest earlier this year, was unveiled on Oct. 25 at the school’s back field by Taft Principal Mrs. Christine Williams, Vice-Principal Dr. Leah Hindley, and physical education teachers Ms. Michelle Henn, Mrs. Candace Mullady, and Mr. Matthew Martirano, to a crowd of the entire student body of Taft.
Project Fit, along with ShopRite and Danone, granted the equipment to Taft after the school had racked up the most electronic votes in a certain time period. Known for extremely lively school spirit, the district handily won the contest by a wide margin over other schools in the region. The seven pieces which make up the new outdoor fitness facility now sit right beside Taft’s regular playground and, while located within school grounds, like all of the district’s outdoor facilities may be used by everyone in the community when school is not in session.
The district’s Buildings and Grounds crew installed the pieces over the summer under the supervision of Director of Operations Paul Nienstadt, and the phys ed teachers have been trained in the many different ways to use each piece, depending on a person’s athletic purpose and whether they are children, teens, or adults. Athletic Director Gary Vyskocil was also present for the fun, as was “Mr. Steve” from ShopRite, who had the kids laughing as he turned over the microphone to the phys ed teachers who introduced students from various grades to demonstrate the types of training that can be done on each piece. The pieces will also be used towards the end of every school year when different level awards are given out to fifth graders for either timed or counted athletic achievement.
At the end of the celebration, Washingtonville Mayor Joe Bucco and other representatives in village and school leadership, teachers, and PTA parents, tried to earn an award for timed hula hooping. To a cacophony of laughter from the students, each adult quickly dropped out of the race while Principal Williams was the only one left still keeping her hula hoop spinning after many minutes, earning her a physical fitness award from the Phys Ed Department.
CAPTION 1: Taft Elementary School Principal Christine Williams and Washingtonville Mayor Joe Bucco cut the red ribbon with giant scissors, while Vice Principal Dr. Leah Hindley (at right) and Athletic Director Gary Vyskocil (at left) look on. (Photos by Eugenia Moskowitz)
CAPTION 2: Last man standing: Principal Christine Williams was still (quite easily!) hula hooping after many minutes, earning her an award in physical fitness from Taft phys ed teachers (from left to right) Ms. Michelle Henn, Mr. Matthew Martirano, and Mrs. Candace Mullady.
CAPTION 3: After the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem was played and sung by music teacher Mr. Paul Davis with Mrs. Arnold and Mrs. O’Hara’s classes, Principal Christine Williams welcomed everyone, thanked the sponsor representatives of the new equipment, and introduced the seven different equipment pieces to the audience.