Fall River, MA — For many schools, field day is a special event that students look forward to all year long. That also goes for Frank M. Silvia Elementary School. Starting the day before, Silvia holds field day “opening ceremonies” to kick things off. This year New England Patriots Mascot Pat Patriot surprised the 800 students at the Elementary School by arriving during the ceremony and joining in on the celebration.
Each of Silvia’s classrooms represented a different National Football League (NFL) team for field day this year, to go along with the overall theme of Fuel Up to Play 60. The Fuel Up to Play 60 program is an in-school physical activity and nutrition program created in partnership with New England Dairy & Food Council and the National Football League, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture. Funding for Fuel Up to Play 60 is provided by New England Dairy & Food Council, and the dairy farm families of Massachusetts and New England. Silvia has been actively involved in the program for the last two years.
Pat Patriot arrived at the ceremony as students were assembling in the cafeteria for the “passing of the torch”—when the team captains pass a fake torch from one team to the next. Following this, the Field Day Oath was read by a student visiting from Bristol County Agricultural High School.
Silvia has activated Fuel Up to Play 60 at their school by using the program to provide students with an opportunity to learn about nutrition and farm-to-school. They’ve launched a school garden to grow their own pizza toppings with Fuel Up to Play 60 funding, participated in the state’s Harvest of the Month contest, visited a dairy farm, and more. Silvia students have also written letters to New England dairy farmers, thanking them for the work they do to provide nutritious foods for their communities.
When asked about the impact the program has had on their school, Teresa Mahjoory, a physical education teacher and the Fuel Up to Play 60 program advisor at Silvia said, “It has been a real game-changing asset to our school community. The support of our wellness initiatives continues to encourage us to raise the bar with all our endeavors. It’s easy to maintain a school culture of health and wellness when there are organizations like this one supporting our efforts every step of the way.”
The Fuel Up to Play 60 program is the nation’s leading in-school physical activity and nutrition program. For more information about Fuel Up to Play 60 in New England, follow New England Dairy & Food Council on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and visit NewEnglandDairyCouncil.org.
About New England Dairy & Food Council
New England Dairy & Food Council (NEDFC) is a non-profit nutrition education organization staffed by registered dietitians. NEDFC is a state and regional affiliate of the National Dairy Council® (NDC). Our goal is to ensure that health professionals, scientists, media and educators have a credible body of nutrition information upon which to base health recommendations.
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.
About NFL PLAY 60
Designed to help tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL’s long-standing commitment to health and fitness with partner organizations like the National Dairy Council. NFLPLAY 60 is also implemented locally, as part of the NFL’s in-school, after-school and team-based programs. For more information, visit NFLRush.com. © 2018 NFL Properties LLC. All NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League.