Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber proclaimed the month of March as Fuel Up to Play 60 Month. Fuel Up to Play 60 is helping develop healthy students in nearly 600 Oregon schools across the state by encouraging students to enjoy nutrient-rich foods and to be active for 60 minutes a day.
Fuel Up to Play 60 is a joint effort from the National Dairy Council, the National Football League and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The program is managed locally by the Oregon Dairy Council.
"School wellness programs like Fuel Up to Play 60 make it possible for schools to receive funding and support that increase student access to nutritious foods and fitness programs," said Kirstin Jorgenson, Principal of Robert Frost Elementary in Silverton, Oregon. "Kids who are well-fed and fit are better able to reach their full potential in the classroom."
The recently issued report, The Wellness Impact: Enhancing Academic Success Through Healthy School Environments, shows that kids who have quality nutrition and exercise perform better at school. That's great validation for Fuel Up to Play 60, which has provided more than $80,000 over three years to Oregon schools for developing in-school initiatives ranging from breakfast programs to walking clubs.
In Molalla, Oregon a $3,000 Fuel Up to Play 60 grant is blazing a trail for healthier students. The elementary school is building a walking/jogging trail and making smoothies every month.
The students at Robert Frost Elementary in Silverton are highlighting a different food color each month and walking and running a marathon one mile at a time. The school has collectively covered more than 3,000 miles.
McKay Elementary in Beaverton, Oregon used grant funds to brighten the cafeteria with an "eat the rainbow" mural and rainy day recess equipment.
"In the last three years, the Fuel Up to Play 60 program has gained momentum and now reaches over 254,000 Oregon students," said Fuel Up to Play 60 Field Coordinator, Cara Seger. "We are seeing grant funded projects that improve school wellness environments now and for years to come."
Schools are the focus of health and wellness programs for students, but it takes the whole community to champion change. To get involved or sign-up a local school visit http://www.oregondairycouncil.org/FUTP60/.