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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Health Fair at PS 226 and the School's Plans for a Gym

PS 226, an elementary school on Sedgwick Avenue in University Heights, held its first health fair today, with the aim of encouraging healthy minds and bodies among students, parents, and the wider community.

Representatives from Morris Heights Health Center, Jacobi Medical Center, and others, gave out information on asthma, nutrition, childhood obesity, adult and childhood literacy, parenting, and more. The Hunts Point Farmers Market provided free fruit. The New York Road Runners Club organized relay races for energetic kids.

The fair, which was organized by PS 226 health teacher Robert Romano, was held in the school's playground, where, teachers hope, a gymnasium - something the school lacks - will one day stand. So far they've raised $300,000, most of which was gathered at a celebrity golf tournament in Los Angeles. Actor Don Cheadle was among those who played. How did the school get Hollywood bigshots involved? Well, Romano's got connections: his older brother is Ray Romano of "Everyone Loves Raymond" fame.

Still, there could be a long road ahead. The gym - which will double up as a community center for the whole neighborhood to enjoy - is going to cost more than $3 million. It's sad, said Romano, that many students who are excited about the plans will likely have moved on by the time it gets built. (Photo by James Fergusson)


  1. I assume that this is something our elected officials are unable to fund? How can anyone NOT help for a school gymnasium? I was actually thinking that this could be a discrimination case if all schools in, Manhattan (let's say) have a gym but PS 226, because it's in the Bronx, does not. Someone please stand up for this! Our principal can not do it alone. The funny thing is that at some point, some elected officials will come out because they will see that Mr. Romano will get his goal accomplished so they, in order to be there for groundbreaking and opening day (photos ops), will come through with some funding. On my end, I will be writing a letter to all our Bronx elected officials, from the BP to the Bronx City Council Delegation to support this cause TODAY.

  2. Haile,

    You raise a good point. Especially when most of the elected officials are more concerned with their standing in the county delegation than they are with the needs of the community. My recommendation is to join the local community board and at the same time write to all the elected officials in the area (especially when they are using the discretionary funds for the schools founded and run by their family members).


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