Phoenix elementary school awarded $100,000 gym

May 17, 2019, 4:55 AM
(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)...
(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)
(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX — One lucky local school got recognized for encouraging students to exercise and live healthy lives.

Dozens of students from Brunson-Lee Elementary School in Phoenix burst into a loud cheer Thursday when their school was announced as the winner of a $100,000 gym.

It’s part of the “Get Fit. Don’t Quit!” Spotlight Awards. During a ceremony at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Thursday, the school took home the title of Arizona’s school of the year.

Fitness icon Jake Steinfeld presented the award to the students.

“What I love most about Brunson-Lee was their engagement with the kids — not just about exercise, but nutrition,” Steinfeld said. “And they understand that academics and fitness go hand in hand.”

The new gym is expected to be complete by the start of the fall. A ribbon-cutting ceremony at the school near McDowell Road and 48th Street is planned for September.

Steinfeld said he’s planning to ask the school to keep the gym open before and after school, as well as during the weekends, so community members can also use it.

Brunson-Lee kindergarten teacher Tiffany Crawford said the school “will really benefit from this.”

“Right now we have one communal space, so if there’s a rainy day schedule or there’s another event going on in the school, our students are losing out on P.E.,” she said.

Crawford added that the new gym will help ensure students have a space where they can go to be physically active.

This year was the first time the Spotlight Awards, in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, were held in Arizona to honor people and programs that promote healthy living in the state.

A few $10,000 prizes were also given out, including to the city of Phoenix for its programs that encourage residents to get active and healthy.

“We wanted to create something like the Academy Awards for health and fitness to really shine a spotlight on the unsung heroes of the state,” Steinfeld said, explaining the meaning behind the Spotlight Awards.

He said submissions for next year’s awards will start being accepted in the fall.

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Phoenix elementary school awarded $100,000 gym