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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Fuel Up to Play 60 in Action

After learning the basics about Fuel Up to Play 60 in yesterday's post, I thought I would share some insights from three people who have implemented this program at their schools.

First up is Caren Walker, Family and Consumer Science teacher at Klondike Middle School.  Ms. Walker has worked with FUTP60 for five years. She describes how she got her fellow teachers and school on board with the program:

     " [I]collaborate with the PE, Health and FACS teachers!!  Get everyone together and brainstorm what you’d do with X amount of money, then brainstorm how your departments could work together to promote health, nutrition and exercise with your students.  I also contacted the Food Service Director for our school’s corporation and got her on board since I needed her to supply some of the information for the grant (amount of milk consumed, etc)."  

Below Ms. Walker and two other teachers accept a check from Diane Ruyack and Mary Nicholson, Indiana's Fuel up to Play 60 Leaders from the Indiana Dairy Association.

One of Klondike's most successful activities was a tailgate party before a KMS football game, "It was a huge success with parents and the school community loving this activity.  We will do this again is we receive a grant for the next school year since there was some cost to this activity."

A bit farther south from me is Crawfordsville, where Angie Frost RD, CD works with the Crawfordsville School Corporation to give the students there healthy choices for their school meals. Here is her opinion of the FUTP60 program:

       "FUTP60 has helped us reinforce our message of healthy eating and physical activity. As a Registered Dietitian and sutrition educator for a school corporation, I love how the programs teaches kids that healthy eacting and physical activity have to go hand-ih-hand so they can be the best they can be in the classroom, on the field and in health. The lessons learned from this program also trickle into the family home as well. For instance, after a taste testing a, student went home to tell her parents about the hummus and yellow bell peppers that we tried during a lesson. The mom, who had never tried hummus was skeptical but bought some hummus at the store and is now hooked and loves all the flavors. During a class celebration, the same mom brought hummus and veggie strips to share bringing the lesson full circle!"

Here are some pictures of Crawfordsville students learning about the new "My Plate" by playing a version of corn hole, a beloved game here in Indiana.

My Plate has a regular dinner plate divided up in to the five food groups that every meal should try to include.

At our wonderful little school, Sacred Heart, Teresa Gretencord, our P.E. teacher at the time, joined with Fuel Up to Play 60 to help students become more active.  From the money she received, she was able to purchase small pedometers for all of the students. Her goal was that they would become more conscious of how much activity they they did or didn't have in a day.  They recorded their steps every day, and then at the end of grading periods, they would total them up to see just how far they walked.  By the end of the school year, they were surprised to see just how many miles they had accomplished! By the map of Indiana posted in the front hall, the kids saw those miles turn in to trips to cities and towns around the state!

This push to walk evolved to a morning walking program that we still have.  Several of our students are car riders, and they get to school before the classrooms are open.  They all now know to drop their coats and bags in the gym and start walking until the 8:00 bell rings.  It's a great time for them to chat with friends and catch up on the latest news.  Sometimes you will see much younger siblings walking with their big brothers/sisters.  This program is a great way to get the kids out of any morning sluggishness and jump start their brains for a productive day!

Our principal, Mrs. McPherson, evens joins the kids in the morning walk.  It's a great way to get to know kids and see how their day is starting.

So, Fuel Up to Play 60 is a program for kids 1-15 and beyond.  Teachers, dietitians, and parents see the great benefits from students being more active and eating healthier foods and snacks.  Is your school involved with FUTP60? For the schools in Indiana, Mary Nicholson would love to talk to any one interested in learning more about the program.  Her contact information is nicholson@winnersdrinkmilk.com.  As a farmer, a mother, and a former educator, I am completely behind this program to help our kids eat healthy, whole foods and exercise every day.  This is a win-win team effort.  I hope you will consider joining the team.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by American Dairy Association Indiana and the NFL’s Fuel Up To Play 60 Program. Through a series of posts, I’ll be sharing information about Fuel Up To Play 60 and how you and your kids can get involved.

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