‘Healthy Holbrook’ philosophy pays off with $100,000 grant

By Linda Kor

The Holbrook School District’s emphasis on a “Healthy Holbrook” has paid off in more ways than expected as Hulet Elementary School was awarded a $100,000 grant from the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils to create a Don’t Quit! Fitness Center.

The funds will be used to transform the old gym at Hulet Elementary School into a fitness room for use by students at the school, as well as Holbrook Junior High School students and perhaps the public.

“We applied and submitted a video, and were one of three schools in the state to receive this grant,” stated Superintendent Robbie Koerperich, adding that this was the first time schools in Arizona have been able to participate in the application process.

“I think we stood out because of our Healthy Holbrook philosophy of developing personal, academic and physical well being. This isn’t something we try to sell, it’s who we are and I think they saw this when they made their decision,” stated Dr. Koerperich.

The fitness room will likely be outfitted with fitness equipment, a jungle gym and exercise bikes that require no electricity. The school would also incorporate Wii fitness games and Zumba as part of the physical exercise curriculum of the school. Koerperich noted that HJHS students would also be able to walk to Hulet to use the room, which he estimated would hold 30 students.

“These new fitness centers will give every child the opportunity to add physical fitness and wellness into their daily lives, which will help them live a longer, healthier life,” commented Governor Doug Ducey.

The room has already been mapped out for the equipment and it is anticipated that it will be complete in August, but will not be available for use until September.

“When I declared war on childhood obesity, I knew it would take an army of leaders to make a difference. I was thrilled when Governor Ducey joined our efforts to help put a stop to this disease in Arizona,” said Jake “Body by Jake” Steinfeld, who will be present at the grand opening assembly in September along with a representative from the Governor’s Council.

The Don’t Quit! Fitness Centers are financed through public and private partnerships with companies like The Coca-Cola Company, The CareMore Foundation and Nike, and do not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding.  Additionally, TuffStuff Fitness International provides all of the fitness equipment.