Manorhaven Elementary School is in the running for a new outdoor fitness playground and indoor fitness equipment, but it needs the help of residents, their friends and family and other supporters of Manorhaven. Online voting will be open for anyone to cast his or her vote through Jan. 31 for Manorhaven School, which hopes to be one of four schools awarded a special grant to fully fund the playground, equipment and an accompanying curriculum.
Manorhaven is the only Long Island school nominated for the Dannon/Danimals Back to School Grant Contest sponsored by Dannon Yogurt and Project Fit America. Once the voting has concluded, four national award-winning schools will be named, each receiving a $25,000 grant. The grant includes funding to install the new fitness equipment. The schools will also get a special physical education curriculum and support materials (which also promotes sportsmanship and playground etiquette) and turnkey staff training, all in support of these facilities. Four schools nationwide with the most votes will be awarded this grant.
According to Manorhaven Principal Bonni Cohen, the school is organizing a campaign in the spirit of the popular Ice Bucket Challenge of a few summers ago. Manorhaven families are asked to consider accepting the Manorhaven Fitness Challenge by recording and sharing a short video of their child performing a special fitness activity to help get the word out and encourage people to vote.
“We are also making signs and banners to display around the community and around the school and we hope to use social media in a positive way,” said Cohen, who was contacted by representatives from Project Fit America and encouraged to enter the contest based on the school’s past awards for its attention to daily fitness. “We’ll look to post pictures of the equipment and any willing participants who wish to help us get the word out.”
For the past three years, Manorhaven School has won the national Fit Active Let’s Move Active Schools Award and as a result, has served as a training center for the Action Based Learning program. This initiative aims to implement cutting-edge lessons for cognitive development centered on movement and the use of kinesthetic learning through physical activity. The school has also received kinesthetic classroom equipment to encourage movement in the classroom.
Cohen added that the timing could not be better for this opportunity, considering that the school will be losing a large portion of its existing playground due to a classroom expansion bond project to create additional instructional space. Manorhaven physical education teachers along with PTA Co-Presidents Ilana Engel and Sara Raber are spearheading the effort to get out the vote for Manorhaven.
“This is a great opportunity for the children of Manorhaven, the school community and the district to receive a new fitness playground, free of cost,” said Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Mooney. “As with all of the Port schools, we continue to encourage innovative ways to support wellness and daily fitness while seeking outside sources to support these initiatives. I encourage everyone to vote for Manorhaven School.”
To vote, visit www.danimalsshopriteschoolcontest.young-america.com through Jan. 31. One vote per day will be accepted per email address every day.