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Help Save Cleveland High School CrossFit

April 24, 2018 by
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If you build it, they will come.

In 2010, teacher and CrossFit coach Kendra Gardner took ten students who were interested in trying out something different than the typical PE class offered at Cleveland High School in South East Portland: CrossFit.

She never expected that the following school year that number would jump to 150.

That’s amazing.

The program at Cleveland High School also added an “On Ramp” class called Speed and Strength Training [SST] for 9th grade students just starting out their CrossFit journey. Current expected enrollment for CrossFit and SST is over 400 students for the 2018-2019 school year.

Gardner moved on to Grant High School, another Portland Public School, to start a second CrossFit program there.

Then, the district drastically cut the funding for the program at Cleveland High School, leaving about 80 students with no spot in the class next year.

Wait. What?

In the state of Oregon, students are only required to take one  year of PE, and CrossFit at  Cleveland High School is considered an elective and therefore a funding luxury. The students who cannot fit into the CrossFit classes will have to take another elective; woodshop, culinary arts, etc., but there is no other physically active class that the  students can take. Cleveland High School has the facilities but Portland Public Schools is not making it a funding priority.​

How can we help?

Over 200 students that want CrossFit next year will be turned  away. But these high school coaches aren’t giving up yet. “We would like to eventually get CrossFit in all of the high schools in the Portland School District but we need help and more buy-in from our Administrative team, or private funding to make the program happen regardless,” Gardner said. They have set up a GoFundMe Page and are also hosting a competition at the CHS Stadium on May 18th for teens and adults.

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