Milford school wins funds for wellness program
Thursday, September 19, 2013
MILFORD – Milford High School has been chosen to receive $4,000 to support its Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative, the New England Dairy and Food Council has announced.
Milford High School was selected from hundreds of schools across the country that applied for funding to help them jumpstart and sustain healthy nutrition and physical activity improvements.
This nationwide funding program offers schools up to $4,000 to help them increase awareness of and access to nutrient-rich foods and physical activity opportunities for students. Funding for this competitive program is provided by New England Dairy and Food Council and the dairy farmers of New Hampshire and New England.
Funds for Fuel Up to Play 60 provides support for a variety of activities and tools, such as food service materials and equipment, nutrition and physical education materials, student and staff incentives, staff development and overall Fuel Up to Play 60 implementation.
Milford High School will use the funds to support students’ Fuel Up to Play 60 activities, which build skills and habits around healthy eating and physical activity in the school community.
“The excitement we created by involving students in Fuel Up to Play 60 in the past enables us to continue the momentum going forward,” program advisor and school nurse Mary Arrowood said. “The wellness team is passionate about our projects using the new funds, and we look forward to seeing the results.”
The school plans to put part of the funding toward healthy cooking classes with the school’s cafeteria manager, Maryanne Gallagher.
During the classes, students will learn cooking and prepping skills to create school meal menus using healthy eating guidelines and school meal regulations.
Students will also participate in a “School Food Expo,” during which time they will be able to test food items that qualify as new items in the federal guidelines. The students will be able to pick items they would like to see on the menu.
“We think one way to encourage healthy eating habits in our students is to engage them in menu-development process,” Gallagher said. “They will learn how to plan, prepare and present appealing, healthy meals that they can use for the rest of their lives, while simultaneously helping us develop the school meal menu.”
In addition, the school will use the funds to expand equipment options in the after school fitness room to increase physical activity opportunities for students who do not participate in the school’s athletic programs. The fitness room provides an alternative to group sports, as well as an opportunity for peer-to-peer mentorship.
“We are pleased that students are taking advantage of the fitness room and expect that the additional fitness equipment purchased with this grant will keep the momentum and appeal going,” physical education teacher Jean-Guy Letarte said. “I look forward to supporting students as they continue to work together to build a welcoming fitness environment for all activity levels.”
Nearly 73,000 schools across the United States, including 380 in New Hampshire, are participating in Fuel Up to Play 60. Developed by National Dairy Council, local dairy councils and National Football League, in collaboration with United States Department of Agriculture, the program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
Multiple health organizations and several major corporations also support Fuel Up to Play 60.
“Milford High School continues to do a great job engaging students and faculty in Fuel Up to Play 60 activities. They are thoughtful and strategic about their projects, and receive tremendous support from their community,” said Becca Story, a nutrition specialist for New England Dairy and Food Council.
Schools, parents and students can learn more about Fuel Up to Play 60 at www.fueluptoplay60.com.
There are several application windows each year, including upcoming deadlines on Nov. 1.