New Albany Middle School - New Albany
Sponsored by: Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation
Opening Day Kickoff Program - October 27, 2009

New Albany Schools
Leading the way for excellence in education
Press Release

New Albany Middle School Celebrates Project Fit America

New Albany MiddleOn Tuesday, October 27, New Albany Middle School (NAMS) hosted the Project Fit America Opening Day Kickoff Celebration, a day that NAMS formally kicked off the honored role to serve as a host and model school for Project Fit America (PFA). 

NAMS was selected through a grant program sponsored by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Mississippi.  Formed in 1990, PFA is a nonprofit organization that donates all inclusive fitness programs to schools creating new opportunities for children to be active, fit and healthy as part of the everyday school experience. 

Programming includes state-of-the-art outdoor fitness equipment that is specifically designed to address the deficit areas where children fail fitness tests; a dynamic curriculum with fitness games; indoor mobile fitness equipment with programming; and in class instruction on subjects such as smoking intervention, nutrition and understanding your body.  PFA also provides support to the school for two-years with training on site.

The Opening Day Ceremony included several speakers, student demonstrations, and performances by the New Albany High School Junior Air Force ROTC, the NAMS Chorus, and the NAMS Cheerleaders.

Dr. Charles Garrett, Superintendent, told students that his hope for programs such as PFA, is that students would learn the importance of taking care of themselves, eating healthy, exercising daily, and staying drug free.

Major Ken Moore, ROTC Instructor at NAHS, explained the benefits of a fitness program to NAMS students.  According to Moore, there are numerous physical, mental, and social benefits of fitness programs that include a stronger heart and bones, less stress, a sense of accomplishment, and learning to work with others.

“We have to be intentional about our exercise, setting aside time and having a purpose and a goal in mind,” said Dr. H. F. Mason, a surgeon associated with Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County.  “Project Fit America is a great way to become intentional with fitness.”  Mason added that it takes twenty-one days to develop habits and he challenged the students to develop good habits relating to fitness in the coming days.
NAMS Physical Education Teacher Mike Hearn discussed PFA, while students demonstrated activities and equipment they are using with the program.

Other speakers included:  Lisa Mitchell, NAMS Principal; J. Pullman, Assistant Administrator at BMH-Union County; John Stroud, Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Inductee; Shaun Vaughn, NAMS Student Body President; Lauren Dunlap, Physical Education Student.


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