On March 30, Gov. Rauner announced that he is teaming with fitness expert Jake Steinfeld and his National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils to help reduce childhood obesity in Illinois.
The Foundation recognizes innovation in youth fitness in elementary and middle schools. Three schools in Illinois will be selected by the foundation as “National Champion Schools” and will be awarded with $100,000 in fitness equipment. This includes strength training and cardio equipment and interactive exercise games, which will be installed within the school.
The organization accepts applications from public, and public charter, elementary and middle schools, and the evaluation committee reviews the nomination form to assess the school’s level of economic need, integration of physical wellness into the school curriculum, creativity in programs and community outreach. The nomination form can be found here.
In 2011, Steinfeld worked through public/private partnerships to create the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils to provide schools with real incentives for change, according to the Foundation Web site. Since its launch in 2012, the Foundation has opened youth fitness centers in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Georgia, West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, California, Connecticut, New Mexico, and Virginia, as well as Washington, D.C.
In 2015, Steinfeld’s Foundation is working to open the fitness centers in Illinois, as well as centers in Texas, Arkansas and Florida.