Cielo Vista unveils free community fitness center

Family, students and staff at Cielo Vista Charter School in Palm Springs can now use the school's recently opened fitness center for free through a $70,000 grant from the Desert Healthcare District.

The grant, which paid for gym equipment including a treadmill, an elliptical, sets of weights and several other machines, is part of Cielo Vista's ongoing effort to promote healthier lifestyles, said co-principal Jennifer Geyer.

The gym is open Monday through Friday 7:30-10:50 a.m. and 12:20-1:10 p.m. for the families of students and after school for staff members. Family members must fill out a form at the front office and provide proof of a physical in the last year before they can use the gym.

In 2011, Cielo Vista had the highest obesity rate for schools in the valley. A $270,000 grant from Desert Healthcare District four years ago helped the school hire three full-time physical education teachers, plant an organic garden, and institute weekly nutrition education classes for each grade, drastically reducing the obesity rate by 70 percent.

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