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Are you healthier than a fifth-grader? Marion Elementary students win $25,000 grant for school
Kelsey Kruzich / Staff photo - Marion Elementary student Austin Cameron takes the lead against former Dallas Cowboy Jay Novacek in a cup-stacking contest on Friday.
Marion Elementary School students know a thing or two about nutrition and exercise.
They proved as much on Friday when the school celebrated the receipt of a $25,000 grant from Dairy MAX for the students' submissions to the "Fuel Up to Play 60" contest. The initiative - the brainchild of the National Dairy Council and the National Football League - challenges students to encourage healthy eating and activity habits among themselves and at their schools. Guests and speakers at the event included school and member agency representatives as well as former Dallas Cowboy Jay Novacek.
Students on the school's Fuel Up to Play 60 "core" team answered three challenges for the 2011-12 school year's contest, according to Mary Dickson, Dairy MAX program coordinator. Now fifth-graders, the students created video entries for the categories Back to School, Back to Football; Cooking Show; and a physical activity challenge.
NDC affiliate Dairy MAX chose the winners at random "out of 73 total entries for all three student challenges," Dickson said. She said there are national and local challenges; the entries came from schools enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60 in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. The challenges change each school year "to keep it fun for the kids," Dickson said.
The grant comes with the stipulation that the school use half the money improving the nutrition program and the other half enhancing the physical education program.
"For the cafeteria portion, [the school] purchased Fuel Up to Play 60 design items to help improve the look of the cafeteria in an effort to encourage kids to eat healthy, and specifically, to enjoy food that is provided by the Allen ISD School Nutrition Department as part of the National School Lunch Program," Dickson said. "A check with the remaining amount of funds was provided for use for the PE department."
Ensuring basic equipment needs is first on that department's list.
"We want to make sure every kid has equipment in hand," said Kera Williams, physical education teacher and Fuel Up to Play 60 program advisor. "We're a 10-year-old school, so things are getting a little worn," she said.
Beyond that, the wish list includes new parachutes (for muscle-endurance exercises), "technology-type things ... [and] possibly a rock wall," Williams said. She said the department is still deciding on the best way to use the funds.
Present at Friday's event were Williams; Allen ISD Superintendent Dr. Ken Helvey; Cooper Institute representative Norma Candelaria; Dairy MAX advisory council member Amy Goodson; Dr. Maroba Zoeller, assistant superintendent of administrative services for Allen ISD; Robin Plotkin, New Look of School Lunch and cafeteria restyle; and Marion Elementary School Principal Johnna Walker.
For information on Fuel Up to Play 60, visit www.FuelUpToPlay60.com.
Items purchased for the cafeteria:
42-inch Fuel Up to Play 60 square tables
2 Fuel Up to Play 60 kiosks
Wall art and clings
12 portable coolers with school logo and FUTP60 logo
Marion Elementary's 2011-12 challenge submissions
Back to School, Back to Football:
www.schooltube.com/embed/9eaa3fae19e44b1fbd8e/ ("Back to School, Back to Kickoff Pep Rally")
www.schooltube.com/embed/72fe68607f324eba80c8/ ("Girls Fuel Up to Play 60 too!")
Cooking Show ("Cheesy Black Bean Pita Quesadilla" recipe demonstration):
Physical Activity Skit:
www.schooltube.com/embed/50968ec081e74bd28806/ ("Fuel Up to Play 60 Dance")
www.schooltube.com/embed/0a6468d3af6e42469f54/ ("Soccer skit")
www.schooltube.com/embed/8b61aafbf8174f9d81f0/ ("Football is a Great Way to Play 60!")
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