Every day children come to school to learn important lessons. One of the most important life-long lessons that young students can learn is how to live healthy. This past fall the Southwestern Middle School Physical Education department began the Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative. Fuel Up To Play 60 is a free, student-powered, in-school nutrition and physical activity program run by the National Dairy Councils, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Football League. It is one of the nation’s largest in-school nutrition and physical activity programs.
The program includes student-led adult guided strategies that encourage students to get up and play for 60 minutes a day and fuel up their bodies with nutrient-rich foods. With students doing online tracking and organizing in-school activities, the Southwestern Middle School is really shining.
As this is a student-led program, many SWMS students have stepped forward to take on leadership roles and become student ambassadors. Posters have been made and put up around the school to encourage physical activity and healthy eating. An after school Dance-a-Thon was held in November where more than 100 students showed up to show their moves and have fun. In January students organized a Super Bowl snack party where healthy snacks were made and tasted and a cookbook went home with each student who participated. Many more fun and healthy events are scheduled for the remainder of the school year.
All of the student ambassadors hard work paid off when this past December SWMS was given the honor of a Touchdown school. With this recognition and the ambassadors going above and beyond, the National Dairy Council awarded the school with tickets to a Buffalo Bills football game. Ten students along with Mrs. Valone, SWMS Physical Education Teacher and advisor for the Fuel Up To Play 60, were chosen to go to the Bills/Dolphins game on Dec. 21. The students, along with Mrs. Valone, got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go down onto the football field for the pre-game events. The events included standing with the Buffalo Jills to getting to high five the players as they ran out onto to the field, standing on the side line with the players and coaches for the national anthem and receiving Buffalo Bills apparel just like what the coaches wear. It was a very cool experience that is sure to be remembered forever.
Congratulations to Southwestern Middle School for caring about the health and wellness of their school and their community. Remember eat healthy and be active every day.