Monday, November 15, 2010

What Would YOUR School Do With $25,000 to Improve Youth Fitness?

Georgia's own Spring Hill Elementary in Chatsworth is in the top 10 finalists.  Can we make them number 1?

/PRNewswire/ -- Parents, teachers and community members from across the country have nominated their local schools to win $25,000 in fitness cash in an effort to address the urgent health and fitness crisis among our nation's youth. The entry period is now over, and the top ten finalists have been chosen for the 2010 Henkel Helps Get Kids Fit Contest—now it's up to YOU to decide which school will win the $25,000 prize!

Henkel, the company behind some of the nation's leading consumer brands such as Dial® soaps, Purex® laundry detergent, Renuzit® air freshener, Right Guard® antiperspirant, and Soft Scrub® household cleaners, in cooperation, the American Council on Exercise (ACE), have chosen the top 10 finalists in the Henkel Helps Get Kids Fit contest. Parents, teachers and community members were encouraged to visit to nominate their local school by answering a fundamental question: "What Would Your School Do with $25,000 to Improve Youth Fitness?"

The TEN FINALISTS (alphabetically by last name), with excerpts from their essay submissions, include:

* Tracy Carey from Maricopa, AZ nominated Santa Cruz Elementary School – "Adding a climbing wall to our multipurpose room brings an activity that promotes self-esteem, contributes to cardiovascular and muscular endurance, enhances the skills of cooperation and team-building and is super fun!"

* Ryan Koslovsky from Saint Charles, IL nominated East Aurora High School – "Our school is located in a poverty level district and is filled with students of all ages that are determined to look past the negative influences around them and succeed here at East."

* Amy Kriveloff from Bronx, NY nominated P754X – "95% of our population lives below the poverty level and qualifies for the federally funded in school breakfast/lunch program. 1/3 of our students reside in foster care or in Group Homes."

* Ashley Langford from Chatsworth, GA nominated Spring Place Elementary School – "Spring Place Elementary has a lot of heart to say the least. Walk the tattered halls of this school, and you will not see the dilapidated building, you will see hundreds of smiling faces- both on the children and adults as they grow and learn."

* Julie Maguder from Meriden, CT nominated Washington Middle School – "Despite all of the facts we know about the direct correlation between regular exercise and academic success, we have no ability to incorporate regular exercise into our students' lives. Last year's budget was $220.00 and this year…NO MONEY was allotted to buy any equipment for our PE program."

* Terri Mills from Memphis, TN nominated Knight Road Elementary School – "[B]ecause of the fact that our children are being raised in poverty, our school attempts to meet the needs of the children right where they are now. We struggle continually because of a lack of funding to provide even necessities. Our children are wonderful and deserve the very best."

* Darci Nice from Polson, MT nominated Pablo Elementary School – "After watching your videos I chuckled to myself thinking how fortunate the majority of schools are just to receive an average pay of $764.00. Our physical education program here has received for the past two years, $300.00 each year."

* Mary Kathryn Rains from Tampa, FL nominated Freedom High School – "If Freedom High School receives the grand prize, not one penny would go to waste. For starters, the Physical Education department works with a budget of $750 each year. For small schools, this amount may be substantial, but in a school of 2300 students, this amount fails to provide students with fitness resources."

* Brenda Tarquinio from Frederick, MD nominated Orchard Grove Elementary School – "Schools at the elementary level are often left out of advantages such as a paved track and we are left to figure out where to have our students run. Yet…students who love to move their body in elementary school will be on the road to learning about life long fitness."

* Erin Zajac from Stillwater, OK nominated Will Rogers Elementary School – "If awarded the $25,000 grant money from Henkel Helps, Will Rogers will have the opportunity to create a safer, more durable walking path on the playground."

The top 10 finalists will receive a free Flip™ video camera to create a brief video that brings to life the health and fitness issues facing their school and their idea for making the most of the $25,000 prize. Starting November 15, consumers will vote online at to select the school they feel deserves to win the $25,000 to help improve youth fitness.

"In the last three years, Henkel Helps has worked to give back to the communities across North America," said Natalie Violi, Director-Corporate Communications – Henkel. "Our 2010 campaign, Henkel Helps Get Kids Fit, hopes to inspire communities around their schools' fitness programs and make a meaningful difference in the lives of kids, families and neighborhoods nationwide."

For more information please visit

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