Mirror Lake Elementary School, in Villa Rica, was one of six local schools awarded a Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60) grant. The grant, which is provided by the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association Inc. (SUDIA) in partnership with the National Football League (NFL), will help each school implement and maintain the FUTP60 program.
"I chose this grant because Fuel Up to Play 60 encourages youth to eat healthy and move more," J.D. Hughes said in an email, P.E. teacher for Mirror Lake Elementary. "And studies suggest that well-nourished, physically active kids can be better students.
"Better nutrition, including eating a healthy breakfast each day, helps students get the nutrients they need and may help improve their academic performance," he continued. "What's more, being physically active may help students improve self-esteem, cognitive function and test scores. This philosophy ties in with our desire at Mirror Lake Elementary to create well-rounded students who understand the importance of eating healthy, balanced meals and getting physically active at least 60 minutes or more per day.
"We earned the maximum dollar amount of $4000, $2000 to be used to educate and promote our school breakfast and lunch programs and $2000 to be used by our physical education department to implement and sustain a before-school fitness club for 2nd-5th grade students at least 2 days a week," Hughes said.
The schools to receive the grant include:
· Mirror Lake Elementary School, Villa Rica, GA
· Dacula Elementary School, Dacula, GA
· Dyer Elementary School, Lawrenceville, GA
· Sugar Hill Elementary School, Gainesville, GA
· Abney Elementary School, Dallas, GA
· Sammy McClure Middle School, Dallas, GA
“The NFL is strongly committed to helping the next generation of youth achieve healthier lifestyles,” said Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL. “Through Fuel Up to Play 60, we want young people to discover that healthy habits can be both fun and empowering.”
Launched by the National Dairy Council (NDC) and the NFL in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), FUTP60 empowers youth to take action to improve nutrition and physical activity at their school and for their own health. The ultimate goal is to ensure the changes made at school are sustainable, making it possible for children to have more opportunities to be physically active and choose tasty, nutrient-rich foods, including low-fat and fat-free dairy foods, fruits, vegetables and whole grains throughout.
“Fuel Up to Play 60 is already demonstrating that children want to, and will continue to, contribute to improving the health of the kids in their school,” said David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., 16th U.S. Surgeon General.
Developed by students for students, the Fuel Up to Play 60 program has an interactive website (FuelUpToPlay60.com) which offers everything from healthy eating tips to physical fitness challenges. Resources kits are distributed to educators to help extend the program’s reach in the schools. Continued partnerships with sponsors such as the NFL, XBOX Kinect, McDonald’s and the USDA allow FUTP60 to reward students and school stakeholders for taking action and encouraging continued participation. For more information about the Fuel Up To Play 60 program, visit FuelUpToPlay60.com.