SAUCIER, MS (WLOX) - Many parents will probably tell you that it's hard to get children to put down their cell phones and video games and go outside to play. However, one Harrison County school is getting students excited about exercising.
Dozens of students at Saucier Elementary were there first to try out the newest pieces of equipment on the school playground on Thursday.
The school received the outdoor fitness equipment through a $26,000 grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. Thanks to "Project Fit America", two trainers to visited the school on Thursday to show the physical education teachers and students how to properly use each piece of equipment.
"Even the kids who don't want to be out here and get fit, they push themselves and you see excitement coming out of their faces," said Saucier Elementary P.E. Teacher Danielle Ladner.
The area featured seven stations, each targeting every muscle of the body.
"It was really difficult on the monkey bars and the rope, but I kind of got a hang of it," said fourth grader Abbie Hancock.
About 150 schools across Mississippi competed for the grant, but only 20 were selected.
"It's beyond exciting. It's nice to know you're doing something proactive and you're getting to work with kids," said Steve Cox, Project Fit America National In-Service Director. "Strength goes up considerably in schools having this equipment."
As part of the grant, Saucier Elementary will track the body mass index of 75 students over the next two years.
"Because it's good for you and if you don't, then sometimes you can get old and you can get sick. If you're fit, when you get older, you can get better and you can get healthy," said Abbie.
Saucier Elementary also received indoor fitness equipment including weighted hula hoops, balls, and jump ropes; as well as a physical fitness curriculum for the classroom.