To help promote healthy nutrition and physical activity among students and staff, Dairy MAX, Inc. awarded $3,000 to Garcia Middle School to help implement the school’s “Fuel Up to Play 60” wellness initiative. Garcia Middle School was among hundreds of schools across the country to apply for funding to help increase awareness and access to nutrient-rich foods and physical activity opportunities for students. Funding for the competitive program is provided by Dairy MAX and America’s dairy farmers.
Launched by the National Dairy Council, local Dairy Councils and National Football League, in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture, the “Fuel Up to Play 60” program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. The program’s aim is to help prevent childhood obesity and help youth develop life-long healthy eating and daily physical activity habits.
With the funds received, Garcia will initiate a Walking Club and a “Wellness Wednesday” fitness program for students. The school will also create an indoor garden and host a Wellness Fair in conjunction with its annual Math and Science Night in March. Nellie Hartsell, school nurse, will join school administrators and P.E. teachers in implementing other “Fuel Up to Play 60” activities to promote healthy nutrition and exercise among students.
Joseph Chandler, principal at Garcia Middle School, is an enthusiastic supporter of the “Fuel Up to Play 60” program. “Research has shown a significant correlation between students’ health and their academic success,” said Chandler. “Not only do we want our students to achieve success academically and socially, but we also want them to be successful at maintaining healthy eating and daily physical activity habits. This program will help lead them in the right direction.”