Beethoven Elementary School in Mar Vista and Kentwood Elementary School in Westchester are among 92 schools statewide that have been named finalists in the Governor’s Challenge Competition of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

The contest promotes increased physical activity and better health among California’s youth. Finalists were selected among 1,000 participating schools statewide based on the percentage and number of students in their school who successfully completed the Governor’s Challenge of being active 30 to 60 minutes a day, at least three days a week for a month.

Beethoven Elementary had 100 percent of its 445 students and Kentwood Elementary had 100 percent of its 307 students successfully complete the Governor’s Challenge this year.

Each of the school finalists selected is now under consideration for one of the competition’s three grand prizes, brand new fitness centers valued at $100,000. Additionally, Beethoven and Kentwood Elementary Schools are two of 15 Los Angeles area school finalists this year, one of which will be named the 2009 L.A. Regional Award winner and receive $5,000 for new physical activity equipment.

Grand Prize and Regional Award winning schools will be announced at a special ceremony at the Capitol in Sacramento in September.

Statewide more than 339,000 participants recorded more than 5.8 million days of physical activity through the Governor’s Challenge this year.

“I want to congratulate everyone at Beethoven and Kentwood Elementary for stepping up to make fitness a priority,” said Jake Steinfeld, Governor’s Council chairman. “Whether your school wins one of our top prizes or not, you’re already a champion for fitness in my book.

“I’m also thrilled that our council has been able to promote physical activity and fitness without adding any burden on California taxpayers,” Steinfeld continued.”

Over the next couple of months the Governor’s Council will be reviewing how each of the competition’s school finalists supported physical activity and good nutrition on their campus in order to help determine its awardees.