More gym money flows into school district

The philosophy of gym class took a whole new direction in Oak Harbor, after P.E. teacher Ranee Bristow secured a $600,000 grant from the federal government last year.

This month the school district received its latest bulk payment of $118,000. The money will be used for gym equipment and aid teacher development.

Bristow says today’s physical education classes are more about fitness and lifestyle.

“They are finding things they like and things they could stick with for life,” Bristow said of P.E. students.

As part of their alternative programs, the district purchased skateboards, Dance Dance Revolution stations, climbing walls, spin bikes and rebounders (mini-trampolines) last year, among other equipment.

This fall, the money will be used to purchase new bicycles for elementary and high school classes.

The Carol White Physical Education Program grant is designed to improve fitness levels and reduce obesity in school age children.

Bristow applied for the highly competitive grant seven years in a row, before it was awarded last October. It will be paid out over three years.

The school district will order the new bicycles at the start of the school year, and the high school students should have them by second semester.

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