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Presumpscot Student Wins Grant to Promote Fitness

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Presumpscot Student Wins Grant to Promote Fitness
Posted on 05/11/2015
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Presumpscot Elementary School fifth-grader Toby Picher recently was awarded a $500 Painting for a Purpose grant. The money will go toward funding a pullup bar that will be part of a new fitness course to be constructed around the perimeter of the school's playing field. 

Toby wrote in his application that students needed more physical fitness options and that he wanted to leave something to the school that would remain long after his class had moved on.

Presumpscot’s new fitness course is something Toby and his class envision as their legacy when they move on to middle school.

ELL teacher Rebecca Maiorano has been awarded $3,000 from Healthy Portland to partially cover the cost of materials and supplies for nine fitness stations to be placed around the edges of the playing field at the rear of the school.

Current fifth-grade students adopted the abutting trail while in Maiorano’s first-grade class. The students cleaned and amended the long-neglected trail and designed and helped build a pergola, as well as signs for the trail. They also helped rebuild an existing bridge on the trail. The fitness stations have been a longtime dream of this class and now Presumpscot is within sight of attaining that goal.

In addition to Toby’s $500 Painting for a Purpose grant, the Presumpscot’s Student Council has committed $100. The school also has applied for another grant in hopes of covering all the remaining costs. The city has committed to helping build this course as soon as funds are secured. The students’ hope is to break ground by the end of May or early June and to have the course ready for use in the fall. 

Presumpscot is working with Ethan Owen, Portland recreation and facilities manager, and Doug Sherwood, the Portland Public Schools’ facilities director, to plan and implement the project and to ensure that safety standards are met.

Toby’s award was given in a surprise presentation in his classroom. Painting for a Purpose board members Jane Ellis and Tina Edwards presented the check during the daily morning meeting in front of his supportive and enthusiastic classmates.

Painting for a Purpose is a local organization that funds youth-led initiatives that make a difference in the community.