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Project Fit America coming to North Fork elementary schools, with help from local fundraising efforts

Project Fit, a nationwide fitness initiative that provides equipment and teacher training, launched in Riverhead schools in 2013. File photo: Katie Blasl

Greenport and Cutchogue East Elementary Schools are one step closer to launching Project Fit America, a fitness initiative that brings indoor and outdoor equipment, teacher training and a fitness curriculum to communities across the country.

Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead partnered last year with the Mattituck Lions Club to raise the funds needed to launch to programs in both schools.

And, thanks to a generous donation from a Cutchogue gym, the schools are a little bit closer to reaching that goal.

JABS, located on Main Road in Cutchogue, has raised $5,445 toward Project Fit’s launch. A large chunk of that donation came from Jason Leonard, a JAB trainer who ran the New York City Marathon for Peconic Bay Medical Center in 2015 and raised $4,402 doing so.

“We are planning some additional fundraisers to bring this amazing program to the kids of our community,” said JABS owner Jill Schroeder.

Project Fit made its New York debut right next door in Riverhead, launching in Riverhead’s five elementary schools in 2013. The program has made a “huge difference” in the students, according to one physical education teacher.

“[The kids] are more motivated to exercise,” said Pulaski Street teacher Rebecca Winkel in an interview in 2014. “They are always excited to beat their own personal records – to go from bronze, to silver to gold – it’s absolutely made a difference.”

The Project Fit program includes indoor and outdoor fitness equipment designed to provide exercise in areas that most commonly give students trouble in physical education fitness tests.

The program also includes a flexible curriculum that provide teachers guidance and training to create effective lesson plans.

Anyone interested in donating to help launch the program can do so online here.

Katie Blasl
Katie, winner of the 2016 James Murphy Cub Reporter of the Year award from the L.I. Press Club, is a reporter, editor and web developer for the LOCAL news websites. A Riverhead native, she is a 2014 graduate of Stony Brook University. Email Katie