A central building block in a sustained effort to create a foundation of good health and fitness has been acquired by Mark Twain Middle School in Mar Vista through a grant for a new fitness center.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. Friday, May 10 in the school’s auditorium, 2224 Walgrove Ave., Mar Vista.
“This fitness center culminates our multi-faceted goal of working hard with (Los Angeles Unified School District) Board Member Steve Zimmer, Dr. Wendy Slusser of UCLA, and David Binkle, director of LAUSD food services, to improve physical fitness in our school through good nutrition with a salad bar in our cafeteria, through getting sugar-laden snacks out of our school and through our community garden,” said Mark Twain Middle School Principal Rex Patton.
According to Patton, the center is only one component in a new anti-obesity campaign at his school.
Mark Twain Middle School is the subject of a new documentary film, Our Food Chain, where its community garden was spotlighted. Slusser and Binkle were participants in the documentary and Slusser is a longtime advocate of lobbying school districts to have salad bars in school cafeterias.
The principal also thanked Bill and Cindy Simon of the Sound Body Sound Mind Foundation of Santa Monica in awarding the school the $40,000 grant.

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