Three Schools in Missouri Will Each Be Gifted A $100,000 DON’T QUIT!® Fitness Center from the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils

FEBRUARY 11, 2019


JEFFERSON CITY — – Continuing his goal of ending childhood obesity, fitness icon Jake Steinfeld, Chairman of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils (NFGFC), has kicked off 2019 by selecting the State of Missouri for its 2019 DON’T QUIT! Campaign.  The NFGFC will deliver a state-of-the-art DON’T QUIT! Fitness Center to three Missouri schools for demonstrating leadership in getting and keeping their students fit. School nominations will be accepted starting today and will run through Friday, March 22, 2019.  The nomination process is simple.  All you need to do is fill out a short application and include a written essay or short video.  Download the Missouri state application here.  It’s easy, nominate your school today!

“Childhood obesity is a serious problem that can follow a child into adulthood. I’ve declared war on this preventable disease, and it’s inspiring to see elected leaders like Governor Mike Parson immediately jump on board to join the battle and welcome us into their state. Every governor we’ve partnered with recognizes that obesity is neither a democrat nor republican issue; it’s a kids’ issue and all have vowed to do everything possible to help,” said Jake Steinfeld.  “So far we’ve delivered DON’T QUIT! Fitness Centers to 28 states and Washington, DC and the response from students, teachers, and communities has been unbelievable.  Kids are excited about working out and being physically active and, as a result, their academic performance and self-esteem have skyrocketed.  Now, Missouri schools have an opportunity to make a change that will have a lasting impact on kids well into their future.”

“I’m thankful that Jake Steinfeld and the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils have partnered with Missouri to help improve the health and well-being of children in our state,” said Governor Mike Parson. “Teaching young people the value of setting goals while also building confidence can be invaluable in so many other ways through the course of their lives. This program has been a success all over the country, and we are grateful for this generous opportunity. I encourage every elementary and middle school in the state to apply for this gift.”

The NFGFC program will make its way into all 50 states in the coming years. Each fitness center is financed through public/private partnerships with companies like The Coca-Cola Company, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, Wheels Up and Nike, and does not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding.  TuffStuff Fitness International provides all the fitness equipment, which is manufactured right here in the United States.  The foundation’s goal is to build a nation of the fittest, healthiest kids in the world.

“I have witnessed firsthand the positive impact fitness centers have had on students and their communities. When you provide schools with the tools and inspiration, you’ll be amazed by the changes that take place,” continued Steinfeld.  “Children are our most precious resource and by providing them with a strong foundation in health and fitness, we can feel confident that they’ll excel beyond their wildest dreams.”

Physical activity and exercise are shown to help prevent and treat more than 40 chronic diseases, enhance individual health and quality of life, and reduce health care costs.  In schools, studies show that physical activity improves academic achievement, increases confidence and self-esteem, reduces discipline problems, cuts absenteeism, and fosters better interpersonal relationships.

For more information about the NFGFC or to download a nomination form, visit

About The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils
The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils (NFGFC) seeks to encourage and reward innovation in the field of youth fitness by awarding fitness centers to schools that use new and unique methods to promote student physical activity and wellness. The NFGFC envisions a fitness center in every school in the U.S., helping to build a nation that—through innovation and a “DON’T QUIT!” attitude—boasts the fittest kids in the world. Since 2012, the NFGFC has delivered fitness centers in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Georgia, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, California, New Mexico, Connecticut, Virginia, Illinois, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Ohio, Washington, Wisconsin, Arizona, Maryland, Louisiana, Oregon, Colorado, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.  In 2019, we will gift fitness centers to four more states including Rhode Island, Missouri, Michigan, and Minnesota.


National PTA Vice President to Testify on Underfunding of Public Education at House Committee on Education and Labor Hearing

Call for robust and equitable investments in public education to ensure all schools have the resources to help every child learn, grow and succeed

 ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Feb. 11, 2019)—Tomorrow, National PTA Vice President of Membership Anna King will bring the voice of families and child advocates to Capitol Hill, testifying before the House Committee on Education and Labor at a hearing titled, Underpaid Teachers and Crumbling Schools: How Underfunding Public Education Shortchanges America’s Students. In her testimony, King will underscore the critical need for Congress to invest in public education to make every child’s potential a reality.

“Decades of federal underinvestment in public education has created unsustainable situations in so many of our nation’s schools, shortchanging students,” says King. “We must do better. We have to do better. Our children’s and our nation’s future depend on it.”

“It is our nation’s public schools that will provide the educated, innovative and creative workforce of tomorrow—the entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists, artists and political leaders who will ensure our nation will flourish in an increasingly competitive global economy. All schools must be equitably funded and have the resources needed to help every child learn, grow and succeed,” King adds.

National PTA has long advocated to ensure all children have access to equitably funded public schools that improve their overall well-being and help them achieve academic and long-term success. As outlined in King’s testimony, the association urges Congress to: 1) Raise discretionary spending caps, 2) Better fund critical programs in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 3) Increase investments in family engagement through the Statewide Family Engagement Centers program, and 4) Ensure public schools are included in any infrastructure package.

“Federal funding for public education programs has remained at approximately 2% of the federal budget for decades, despite the increase in public school enrollment and the rising cost of education resources and services,” King says. “It’s time Congress does its part and prioritizes investments in public schools and our children to ensure they have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential and to grow our economy and improve our competitiveness.”

National PTA and its constituents remain committed to advocating at the federal, state and local levels for robust and equitable investments in public schools.

To read King’s testimony and to watch a livestream of the hearing beginning at 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, visit

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit

JC/DC Action Alert: HB 478 PLACED ON CALENDAR FOR COMMITTEE HEARING Please Contact the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee now!

HB 478 has been placed on the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee for 2/12/19.

HB 478 would establish the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program.

The Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program is a particular concern for PTA because this program would create an account that would allow taxpayers to make a qualifying contribution to an educational assistance organization and claim a tax credit, as described in the act. The tax credit is for one hundred percent of the amount of the contribution. The tax credit may be carried forward for four years and may be transferred, sold, or assigned. The scholarships will be used in private schools effectively creating a voucher system in Missouri.

Missouri PTA encourages you to send emails the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee to let them know your feelings on this bill.

Dear Representatives,

The Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program is not good for students and parents, taxpayers and Missouri’s public schools for the following reasons:

Irresponsible expansion of tax credits when the state is facing massive shortfalls in the current budget.

This is a voucher in a bad disguise. This bill attempts to funnel public funds to private schools and home schools. It also allows these funds to be spent on for-profit schools, including virtual schools, with no oversight. This bill is not about seeking quality education for students. This bill is not about choice but about killing public education as we know it, with no assurances that education will be delivered at all.

Lack of financial oversight of the schools receiving the funds. There is no accountability required of the schools receiving these funds. These entities are not required to be located in Missouri or governed by Missouri residents. These entities can be for-profit institutions created solely to earn money off of the backs of Missouri students. They could be fly-by-night organizations that deliver no actual education, but profit at the expense of Missouri taxpayers.

Lack of educational oversight of the schools receiving the funds. These schools are not required to administer the MAP, identify or educate students with disabilities, or be accredited by any organization. Missouri tax dollars will be spent for students to be taught by teachers without certification or the specialized knowledge to identify learning disabilities, dyslexia, etc. The teachers and education providers receiving the funds are not even required to undergo a criminal background check. Missouri tax dollars could be spent on services and therapies that are not educationally sound. The bill states that a school “shall not be required to alter its creed, practices, admissions policy, or curriculum in order to accept students” under a scholarship, which means students with disabilities could be denied enrollment and students with disabilities can be refused specialized education. Schools could deny enrollment based on economic status or grades.

Expands education beyond the age of 21. Unlike free public education, which expires once the student turns 21 or graduates high school, parents and students may continue to receive these scholarships indefinitely as long as the student does not complete high school or passes a test for admission to college. 166.705.2

Please oppose HB 278 by voting no.


You name and PTA

Not sure how to contact the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee? Click here:

Kristina Wilmoth
Vice President of Legislation and Advocacy
Missouri PTA