WALLINGFORD — Rock Hill Elementary School is competing for a $25,000 grant to purchase indoor and outdoor fitness equipment.
Rock Hill is one of 77 schools from five states competing for the grant from the non-profit organization Project Fit American. The contest is sponsored by Danimals and ShopRite.
The four schools who receive the most online votes will receive the $25,000, said Anthony Loomis, health and wellness resource teacher for the district. The money will go toward fitness equipment, Loomis said.
“What parent wouldn’t want their kid to be healthier?” Loomis said. “We now know that the better fitness a kid has, the better they do academically.”
“The fitness equipment would be an asset to our school...(it) will improve students’ lifestyle and learning,” said Julie Wollen, a health and physical education teacher at Rock Hill.
The school district has been encouraging the community to vote by placing a pop-up window on its website that directs visitors to a page to vote. Voting is open until the end of the month.
“We’re trying really hard to get the word out there,” Wollen said.
Each person can vote once a day, however, Loomis pointed out that if a person has multiple email addresses, they can vote more than once a day. Loomis said past winners have received around 8,000 to 9,000 total votes, so he has set a goal of 10,000.
Loomis said $18,000 has already been designated to purchase equipment and each recipient gets to choose how to use the remaining $7,000. Past recipients have typically spent that money on hiring a contractor to install the equipment, however, Loomis hopes to find a local contractor who will install the equipment for free. This would allow Loomis to split the $7,000 evenly between physical education programs at the district’s seven other elementary schools.
“This is a great opportunity, not just for Rock Hill, but every elementary school in town,” Loomis said.
If Rock Hill received the grant this year, another Wallingford school can still apply for the same grant next year. Loomis plans to enter Parker Farms School next year if Rock Hill wins.
Click here to vote in the contest.