ATLANTA – The Atlanta Falcons and Southeast Dairy Association awarded Atlanta Public Schools (APS) with a $10,000 NFL “Hometown Grant” to support healthy nutrition and physical activity programs at four elementary schools in the Booker T. Washington High School cluster.
Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen, Atlanta Falcons player Matt Bosher and representatives from the Southeast Dairy Association ran physical activity football drills with students at M. Agnes Jones Elementary School in the gym before presenting a check to representatives from both the APS Departments of Nutrition and Health and Physical Education as well as Principal Margul Woolfork.
“Our goal is to address the issue of childhood obesity by not only encouraging and motivating students to increase movement and healthy eating habits every day, but also by providing opportunities for them to do so,” said Kiki S. Frazier, APS District Wellness Coordinator. “This grant will help to reach that goal.”
Funds from the grant will bring the Jump with Jill Nutrition & Dance Show to M. Agnes Jones, Bethune, Connally and Venetian Hills elementary schools, as well as to the “Community Playtime” during the annual Student Wellness Ambassador (SWA) Leadership Academy and Health Fair scheduled for March 12, 2016 at Sutton Middle School. The academy and health fair is open to the public. “Jump with Jill” is the world’s only rock & roll nutrition show that uses music and dance to celebrate healthy habits by transforming nutrition education into a live concert. The show also offers resources to teachers, parents, and students to ensure sustainability. The APS Student Wellness Ambassador program encourages students across the district to serve as role models for healthy lifestyle choices in the areas of nutrition and physical fitness. As wellness leaders in their schools, the students also participate in the implementation of their school’s Local School Wellness Plans.
The “Hometown Grant” program developed by Fuel Up to Play 60 and the NFL provides the organizations with the opportunity to identify deserving schools in their areas and award the those schools with $10,000 to help meet health and wellness goals. In its second year, the Hometown Grant program allows each of the 32 NFL Clubs, Fuel Up to Play 60 and local dairy representatives to provide funding to schools throughout the country totaling $320,000 this year. APS’ grant will affect more than 1,900 elementary school students within the Washington High School cluster as well as an average of 400 student wellness ambassadors from various schools in the district, totaling over 2,300 students.
According to research conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine, American School Health Association, GENYOUth Foundation and the National Dairy Council, good nutrition, including daily breakfast, and increased physical activity can lead to improved academic performance. “We know many children are lacking in the nutrition and physical activity they need to succeed. However, all kids deserve a chance for a healthy lifestyle. That is why it’s a priority for Atlanta Public Schools to support the youth of Atlanta,” said Rashida Shoemaker, manager of School Health and Wellness for Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc. “It is critical that schools and communities work together to provide solutions to increase health and wellness initiatives in our schools and communities.”
About Fuel Up to Play 60
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Football League (NFL) and National Dairy Council (NDC), which was founded by America’s dairy farmers, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Fuel Up to Play 60 is designed to engage and empower youth to take action for their own health by implementing long-term, positive changes for themselves and their schools. The program additionally encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (low fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. As a result of the program, last year 14 million students made better food choices and are getting more physically active during the school day. Fuel Up to Play 60 is further supported by several health and nutrition organizations: Action for Healthy Kids, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Association/Foundation, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association and School Nutrition Association. Visit FuelUpToPlay60.com to learn more.
About Atlanta Public Schools
Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 50,000 students across 98 learning sites. The district is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 87 schools, 17 charter schools and two citywide single-gender academies, where students are offered rigorous instructional programs that foster success in school and life. For more information, visit www.atlantapublicschools.us.