Rhinebeck, New York…..Physical Educators Kevin Yarnell and Ryan Edson at Chancellor Livingston School (CLS) in Rhinebeck, NY announced today that the school recently hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new community fitness playground after winning a nationwide competition called the “Dannon Danimals and Project Fit America Back to School Grant Contest.” The elementary school in Rhinebeck was awarded the $25,000 grant following an online contest in which it earned the highest number of votes; voting was open to the public.
“Using the power of social media, community members shared voting instructions with connections from all over the country. Rhinebeck ended up getting more votes than some of the largest school districts in the country; to me, this speaks volumes about our community spirit and about the collective desire to have this type of facility. It’s so exciting for everyone who will benefit,” said Brett King, principal at Chancellor Livingston Elementary School.
Present at the groundbreaking ceremony were representatives from the Rhinebeck Central School District (Rhinebeck Superintendent, Joseph Phelan; Assistant Superintendent, Thomas Burnell; and Director of Facilities, Sheldon Tieder) and Chancellor Livingston Elementary School (Principal, Brett King; Physical Educator, Kevin Yarnell; Physical Educator, Ryan Edson). Also in attendance were representatives from the various companies involved in creating the $25,000 grant, including Steven Hildner, Community Administrator, ShopRite; Seth Wertz, Store Director, ShopRite; Kristina Fox, Shopper Marketing Manager, Dannon; Lucas Canhoni, Asst. Shopper Marketing Manager, Dannon; and Jimmy Greve, Key Account Manager, Dannon. There were also members of various Rhinebeck community organizations there, including Jennifer Hammoud, President of the Rhinebeck Science Foundation (RSF); Jeff Newman, President of the Rhinebeck CSD PTSO; and Marianna Lombardo, President of the CLS PTSO.
As part of the $25,000 grant awarded, Project Fit America will be providing $18,000 in community fitness playground apparatuses as well as $7,000 of playground building and installation expenses.
According to Edson and Yarnell, over 300 Hudson Valley businesses Hudson Valley supported Rhinebeck in the nationwide grant contest. Said Yarnell, “Our entire community really came together to get behind this; we were in total awe of the support and we feel tremendous gratitude to everyone who helped us get to the finish line.”
Added Edson, “Physical education is not only a critically important part of school, but the hope is that it is a priority throughout the life cycle. By creating a fitness playground like this that will be open to people of all ages, we can build a healthier community overall.”
The fitness playground is expected to be open to the public this coming fall. Please stay tuned for more information.