Earlier this week, Freedom Middle School proudly celebrated the grand opening of a new, high-tech fitness center for their students. Over 300 families, students and local community partners gathered for a “Healthy Families Night” to properly ceremonialize this exciting new addition. Attendees enjoyed complimentary Zumba classes, family dodge ball, and healthy food samplings. Local community partners lined the hallways with booths for families to stop by and learn about each organization and the different services being offered in their community. Each booth offered bins of fresh fruits and vegetables for the attending families, and community organizations provided giveaways and services such as flu shots and blood pressure tests. The new fitness center offers high-tech equipment including treadmills, exercise bikes, ellipticals, and much more. The equipment will be used by Freedom Middle School students during gym or after school programs and fitness clubs, as well as District 100 employees, with the goal of eventually being able to open the center to the public. The event was supported by the Berwyn Community School Initiative (BCSI), comprised of Freedom Middle School, Heritage Middle School, Youth Crossroads, OfficeMax Incorporated and United Way. In addition, local officials also made appearances including Mayor Lovero of Berwyn; Michele Skryd, Fourth Ward Alderman of Berwyn; Stanley Fields, District 100 Superintendent; and District 100 Board and Foundation members. With the partnership of the BCSI, Freedom Middle School is able to offer students a safe place to spend quality after-school time creating lasting healthy habits and positive relationships with their peers. The BCSI is part of United Way’s 10-year vision, LIVE UNITED 2020, aimed at positioning community schools as a ‘place-based’ hub of service to create strong families and vibrant communities. OfficeMax Incorporated is the first company to adopt a community school and has granted $1 million over the next three years to the BCSI. The donation will be used to help improve education by boosting classroom and community services for the school’s students and their families.
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