NEWPORT NEWS -- A Newport News school now has a state-of-the-art fitness center.
The ribbon was cut Friday for the Live Positively Fitness Center at Huntington Middle School, one of the schools in Virginia named a National Champion School for promoting physical fitness innovation and healthy living standards.
Governor Terry McAuliffe, First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, other state and local lawmakers, fitness icon Jake Steinfeld and students to did the honors and then the 600 students got to use the equipment for the first time.
Health officials say physical activity and exercise have been shown to improve a child's academic achievement, increase confidence and self-esteem, reduce discipline problems, cut absenteeism and foster better interpersonal relationships.
During the ceremony, Gov. McAuliffe proclaimed October as Live Positively Month, encouraging families and communities to make physical activity and a healthy diet part of our children's daily lives.
Each fitness center is financed through a public/private sector partnership with companies like The Coca-Cola Company and doesn't rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding.
Other schools named a National Champion School are Chesterfield Academy in Norfolk and Fairfield Middle School in Henrico.