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Published: Friday, August 19, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

New fitness media center coming to Granite Falls Middle School

Middle school health and fitness teacher awarded $2,000 grant for idea

GRANITE FALLS -- Robynn Barth wants to bring a fitness media center to Granite Falls Middle School.
The health and fitness teacher is planning to do that with the help of a $2,000 grant. The teacher applied for a grant through financial investment company ING's Unsung Heroes Program at the end of April and recently learned that her idea was one of 100 that were chosen to receive the award.
The money will help fund material and games to create the center, where students can play fitness video games such as Wii Sports and "Dance, Dance Revolution," said Barth, 35.
"The plan is to have it available for the kids at least once a week," Barth said.
The old high school campus at 405 N. Alder Ave. is scheduled to open as the new Granite Falls Middle School on Sept. 7, district spokeswoman Kathy Grant said. The new Granite Falls High School opened at 1401 100th St. NE in January 2008. The new building provides more space for fitness activities, Barth said.
"My vision was to utilize the auxiliary gym, a small side gym with big walls, and project the gaming systems off there," she said.
Barth got the idea for the fitness media center after she read a book on the new science of exercise and the brain.
All the winners are eligible to compete for an additional $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000. A third place winner from Kansas City, Mo., has been chosen. The second and first place winners are scheduled to be announced within the next four to six weeks, said Phil Margolis, a spokesman for ING.
"If we got more funding that would be amazing," Barth said. "We're starting with bare bones. We have a lot of basketballs and I would love to see yoga balls."
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the ING Unsung Heroes program. Winners were selected from a group of more than 1,400 applications.
Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.

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