Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School students strike a pose Oct. 5 in their new fitness center at the school. The center is courtesy of a program through the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY JENNIFER OSBORN

DI-S Elementary cuts the ribbon on new fitness center

DEER ISLE — The doors to the new $100,000 fitness center at the Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School were unlocked Tuesday.

The school was one of three in Maine to win a fitness center thanks to a program through the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils, which is headed by fitness icon Jake (Body by Jake) Steinfeld.

Steinfeld was supposed to come in person for a ribbon cutting but canceled his appearance.

However, state Sen. Louie Luchini (D-Hancock County) spoke to the children via Zoom about his early years in sports.

Luchini, a runner and high school coach who is retired from a career as a professional athlete for Nike, told the students about his first race.

“When I was in elementary and middle school I was pretty darn slow,” Luchini said, adding that he got “lapped” in his first school race.

But Luchini decided he was going to get faster, so he and a couple of friends started going to the gym every day before school. The senator told the students that not only did his fitness improve but exercising regularly helped his academic performance as well.

Principal Tara McKechnie said the fitness center will be open for community use.

Each fitness center is financed through public/private partnerships with companies such as the Coca-Cola Co., Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, Wheels Up and Nike, and does not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding. The Fitness in Motion Foundation provides all the fitness equipment, which is manufactured in the United States. The foundation’s goal is to build a nation of the fittest, healthiest kids in the world.

This year, the program will have completed centers in 40 states and will make its way into all 50 states in the coming years.

For more information about the national foundation, visit


Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.
Jennifer Osborn

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