Hoover unveils new fitness equipment


Hoover High and the UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind program hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at Hoover on Tuesday, unveiling the school’s new fitness equipment.

Hoover High, along with all the other high schools and middle schools in GUSD, were given new equipment that would be incorporated into a fitness curriculum. The curriculum will be taught by PE teachers, implemented in the high schools PE classes and would be mainly focused on health and wellness.

In 1999, Cindy and Bill Simon started ‘Sound body, Sound mind’, which is a non-profit organization that promotes self-confidence and healthy lifestyles among children, with the goal of reaching students in the secondary school systems in Los Angeles. The organization partnered with UCLA in 2015.

“UCLA is doing a study from the health and wellness curriculum and the students are assisting them in their studies. Like a researched based study” said Dr. Chris Coulter, GUSD’s Executive Director for Secondary Education.

Eric Esrailian, the chief of digestive diseases at the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian division of digestive diseases at UCLA, spoke on how fitness can relate to mental well being and how that is important and significant in the lifestyles of students.

“The concept of Sound Body, Sound Mind is exactly what it sounds like, if you have a sound body you’re likely to have a sound mind,” he said. “It’s been academically studied and scientifically shown that kids that do well physically, also do well in school.

“A lot of schools in Los Angeles have not had adequate equipment and they haven’t had a curriculum that is more up to date especially in public schools and so the concept was to provide the money to build that out and be plugged into the bigger network.”

Matt Flesock, the executive director of UCLA health Sound Body Sound Mind, who oversees the entire program explained the importance of physical education in schools.

“Physical education is arguably one of the most important subjects,” he said. “Most people don’t like it but keeping kids active and being physically active is so important for not only physical health but mental health and academic performance and our emotional well being. And we find that schools across LA don’t have access to fitness centers.”

More than $300,000 was donated to GUSD to make this program possible by UCLA.

Since 2015, GUSD and UCLA have been working side by side trying to make this possible for the students and finally years later it will be implemented into each school making the health and wellness of each and every student the curriculum is taught to that much more important.

“I am thrilled to pieces,” GUSD Superintendent Vivian Ekchian said. “I think everything that we are doing for our students with our partners at UCLA allows us to bring resources to our schools and our students will benefit greatly and it focuses on health and wellness. That’s really important to us as a community.”