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Center gets teens in shape

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NORWALK – Physical education just doesn’t get any better than this.Before this school year got under way at Lakeside Middle School, eighth-grader Andrew Chaidez said PE class was boring.“Basically, you’d go outside and run,” the 13-year-old said.But with Tuesday’s unveiling of the school’s new Fitness Academy, PE has taken on a whole new meaning for the 800 students in grades six through eight who attend Lakeside.The school received a $175,000 federal grant last year to establish the campus fitness center, located in a new, air-conditioned portable classroom that includes dance machines, stationary bikes, stairsteppers and several other exercise machines.With almost half of young people aged 12-21 not participating in vigorous physical activity on a regular basis, the goal of the grant was to provide money to initiate, expand and improve physical education programs.And it’s already working, said PE teacher Donna Barrett. “It’s like Christmas morning for Lakeside,” Barrett told guests at Tuesday’s grand-opening ceremony. “All of the equipment in there is absolutely incredible.”Chaidez was one of dozens of students who were working out on the machines as guests looked on.His favorite is the VASA trainer, an exercise machine used to train swimmers that helps develop upper-body strength.“In here, you can do all sorts of exercises, and it’s fun,” Chaidez said. “Exercise doesn’t stress you out so much when you do it this way.”Principal Sandy Sanders said each PE class will get a certain amount of time inside the fitness center each day.And because the grant is supposed to be used to help students meet K-12 standards in physical education, Sanders said a new Fitness Club will be created for students who are the most overweight and unfit. “We’re going to target the ones who need it the most,” she said. [email protected](562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051last_img read more

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