Monday, October 17, 2016

Grant to fund nutrition and physical activity programs at Wilson Elementary School

Succeeding academically isn’t simply due to studying: Good grades also rely on adequate levels of physical activity and healthy eating – a relationship that is consistently backed by research. 

To further support Henry Wilson Elementary School’s efforts to promote the health of its students, the school has been awarded $3,520 to fund two programs. The Grab ‘N Go program will provide students with healthful snacks in between meals, including yogurt, smoothies, and fresh produce. The school also plans to purchase physical education equipment to help implement bursts of physical activity throughout the school day. Also known as “brain breaks,” the activities will improve student attendance, behavior, and concentration. Funding for these programs is provided by New England Dairy & Food Council and the dairy farmers of New Hampshire.

“The grant is going to allow our students to be more active in the classroom and eat healthier throughout the day,” said the school’s Fuel Up to Play 60 program advisor and physical education teacher, Kendzie Wohleben. “We have a great group of students who are a part of the Fuel Up to Play 60 team, and our team continues to grow! I think the program has afforded tremendous opportunities for Wilson Elementary and I am very excited to see what this year has in store."

Wilson Elementary School participates in the nationwide Fuel Up To Play 60 program, which is a student-led, in-school physical activity and nutrition program. Participation in the program is free and is what made the school eligible for the funding.

Miss Wohleben, fellow teacher Alex Simo, assistant principal Brandon French, and 5th grade students Nina, Eric, and Yahya also attended this past summer’s New England Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Summit, which brought together students and program advisors for a day of physical activity, leadership activities, program brainstorming sessions, and a student-led, ultimate smoothie challenge.

“My favorite part of the summit was the smoothie challenge,” said Nina. “We were able to synergize with our team to create our own smoothie for the judges. I like the choices Fuel Up to Play 60 offers me to stay active in and out of school.”

Former New England Patriots Tight End and Super Bowl XXXVI Champion Jermaine Wiggins also attended the Summit. “Fuel Up to Play 60 works because it focuses on students – not adults – to be the drivers of change. As an athlete, I know how powerful combining healthy eating with exercising can be. This program teaches and reinforces these beneficial behaviors that will have a lifelong impact on the students’ health.”

“Henry Wilson Elementary School is making student wellness a priority and we’re glad this funding exists to promote their initiatives,” said Becca Story, MS, RD, LD, Nutrition Specialist with New England Dairy & Food Council. “Nutrition and physical activity help students reach their full potential, and Fuel Up to Play 60 is the vehicle that helps schools reach their goals.”

Students, schools, and parents can learn more about funding eligibility in the “Funding” section at FuelUpToPlay60.com. There are several application windows each year, including an upcoming deadline on November 2, 2016.  Each funding cycle can provide up to $4,000 per school. For more information about Fuel Up to Play 60 in New England, follow New England Dairy & Food Council on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and visit NewEnglandDairyCouncil.org.

Nearly 74,000 schools across the United States, including more than 1,600 here in New England, are participating in Fuel Up to Play 60. Developed by National Dairy Council, local Dairy Councils, and National Football League, in collaboration with United States Department of Agriculture, the program empowers students to drive change and work closely with educators to find creative ways to make their school a healthier place. 

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