Boston, MA – The New England Patriots Foundation and New England Dairy showed their continued commitment to student health and wellness by awarding the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 School with a $10,000 Hometown Grant. The funds will be used to enhance the school’s wellness environment through health-focused initiatives that increase students’ access to nutritious school meals and opportunities for physical activity.
The school held a Hometown Grant celebration today that kicked off with the arrival of special guests from the New England Patriots including alumni players, Patriots cheerleaders, and mascot, Pat Patriot.
During the assembly, students heard from a variety of guests including New England Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, Principal Grace Coleman-Burns, Massachusetts dairy farmer Melissa Griffin from Clessons River Farm in Buckland, MA, and New England Dairy Director of Youth Wellness Erin Wholey. After an energizing performance by the school’s Double Dutch team, students got a preview of the equipment the grant would purchase, including indoor and outdoor physical activity equipment, equipment to offer smoothies with school meals, and a new refrigerated cooler for grab-and-go meals.
During the assembly, New England Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft surprised the school with an additional $25,000 in funding for physical activity and wellness resources.
“Eating healthy and staying active in school can help you feel better, improve your focus, and get better grades,” said Kraft. “That is why the Patriots are so proud to partner with New England Dairy to provide the Hometown Grant to the M.L. King Jr. School. We know that investment in our youth will pay dividends for years to come.”
Following the assembly, a select group of students participated in football skills and drills exercises. The students rotated through engaging team-building and physical activities, led by New England Patriots alumni. The excitement of the students and staff was palpable throughout the day’s events.
“Our staff and students are thrilled to be the recipients of the Hometown Grant,” said School Principal Grace Coleman-Burns. “The funding will allow us to further build upon our wellness goals and enrich the lives of our students for years to come. Thank you to the New England Patriots and the dairy farm families of Massachusetts and New England for their generous support.”
Developed by Fuel Up to Play 60 and the National Football League, the Hometown Grant program identifies deserving schools and helps fund their physical activity and healthy eating goals. Fuel Up to Play 60 is the nation’s largest in-school wellness program that encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. This program is supported regionally by the dairy farm families of Massachusetts and New England.
“Dairy farmers are committed to feeding their communities, so we’re glad we can do even more by partnering with the New England Patriots through Fuel Up to Play 60,” said Melissa Griffin. “We’re proud to support nutritious school meals and school wellness efforts to ensure the success of the next generation.”
New England Dairy and Massachusetts dairy farm families have been supporting local schools for over a century. Dairy farms are the heartbeat of communities throughout New England, creating jobs, investing in the local economy, and supporting childhood health and education.
About New England Dairy
New England Dairy (NED) is a non-profit education organization based in Boston that serves as a voice of dairy farmers in New England and Eastern New York. We champion these dairy farm families and the nutritious foods they produce by connecting people to dairy farms, supporting youth wellness in schools, and delivering the latest nutrition and sustainability science to educators, health professionals, scientists, and media. NED is a state and regional affiliate of the National Dairy Council® (NDC).
About Fuel Up to Play 60
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council (NDC) and National Football League (NFL), with additional partnership support from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
Fuel Up to Play 60 is designed to engage and empower youth to take action for their own health by implementing long-term, positive changes for themselves and their schools. Customizable and non-prescriptive program components are grounded in research with youth, including tools and resources, in-school promotional materials, a website, and student challenges. Fuel Up to Play 60 is further supported by several health and nutrition organizations: Action for Healthy Kids, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association, and School Nutrition Association. Visit FuelUpToPlay60.com to learn more.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).
About NFL PLAY 60
In October of 2007, the NFL launched NFL PLAY 60, a national youth health and fitness campaign focused on increasing the wellness of young fans by encouraging them to be active for at least 60 minutes a day. Over the past decade, the NFL has partnered with leading academic, scientific, and nonprofit organizations, including the American Heart Association, National Dairy Council, Special Olympics, Shriners Hospitals for Children, St. Jude, and the United Way, to help children of all abilities lead healthier, active lives. Since the launch of the campaign, the NFL has committed more than $350 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for PSAs; the NFL and its clubs have supported programs in nearly 73,000 schools nationwide, giving more than 38 million children the chance to boost physical activity levels and build a foundation for a healthy lifestyle. The NFL and its partners are committed to continuing the PLAY 60 movement for an active and healthier generation for years to come. For more information, visit nfl.com/PLAY60.
About the New England Patriots Foundation
Robert Kraft established the New England Patriots Foundation in 1994 to give back to the communities the Patriots call home. The mission of the foundation is to aid individuals and families that are often marginalized in our society. Through the implementation of year-round programming and support of philanthropic agencies, the foundation is building stronger communities throughout New England. For more information about the New England Patriots Foundation, visit www.patriots.com/community.
About Boston Public Schools
The Boston Public Schools (BPS), the birthplace of public education in the United States, serves nearly 50,000 pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students in 122 schools. BPS is committed to transforming the lives of all children through exemplary teaching in a world-class system of innovative, welcoming schools. We partner with the community, families, and students to develop in every learner the knowledge, skill, and character to excel in college, career, and life.