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Schools across Missouri have a little more than a month to submit proposals for a competition to get a fitness center for their school.

Gov. Mike Parson announced Monday that Jake Steinfeld, chairman of the National Foundation for Governors' Fitness Councils, has selected Missouri for the Council's 2019 "DON'T QUIT! Campaign."

Three Missouri schools will be awarded the money for the centers.

Winners must demonstrate leadership in getting and keeping their students fit. School nominations will be accepted through March 22. Schools have to fill out a short application and include a written essay or short video. The application can be downloaded at

So far, the campaign has delivered fitness centers to 28 states and Washington, D.C.

"Teaching young people the value of setting goals while also building confidence can be invaluable in so many other ways through the course of their lives," Parson said in a news release. "This program has been a success all over the country, and we are grateful for this generous opportunity."

NFGFC reports show physical activity and exercise are shown to help prevent and treat more than 40 chronic diseases, enhance individual health and quality of life, and reduce health care costs, according to the governor's news release. In schools, studies show physical activity improves academic achievement, increases confidence and self-esteem, reduces discipline problems, cuts absenteeism, and fosters better interpersonal relationships.

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