NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans cornerback Jason McCourty partnered as an ambassador with the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association earlier this year. McCourty, along with rookies Dorial Green-Beckham and Angelo Blackson, visited students at Spring Station Middle School in Williamson county to encourage students to 'Fuel Up' with healthy foods so they can get up and be active for 60 minutes a day.
McCourty serves as a Fuel Up to Play 60 ambassador with the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association. Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60), the nation's largest in-school wellness program, is a partnership between the National Football League (NFL) and the National Dairy Council (NDC), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. FUTP60 empowers students to live active and healthy lifestyles by playing or exercising for at least 60 minutes each day and fueling up with healthy foods such as low-fat and fat-free dairy.
The NFL Play 60 campaign is designed to tackle childhood obesity by getting kids active through in school, afterschool and team-based programs. The Southeast Dairy Association and the Titans work together to help make wellness part of the game plan in Tennessee schools through the Play 60 campaign/Fuel Up to Play 60. The program encourages schools to make healthy changes in students' eating habits and physical activity.
The NFL Fuel Up to Play 60 – Tennessee Titans Hometown Grant program focuses on priority school districts in the Tennessee Titans market. The NFL has committed $10,000 to Fuel Up to Play 60 and the Titans are providing Williamson county schools Home Town grants of $5,000 to Spring Station and $2,500 to Allendale elementary and Chapman's Retreat elementary schools to improve access to healthy eating and physical activity initiates.
Jason McCourty Fuels Up to Play 60 with Southeast United Dairy Industry Association and the Tennessee Titans Hometown Grants Program. (Photos: Josh Corey)
"It means a lot to me to be able to reach out to kids all across Tennessee and spread the message about Fuel Up to Play 60," said McCourty. "Programs like these are one of the reasons I love being a Tennessee Titan!"
Many schools lack the resources to execute school wellness and this is why the Southeast Dairy Association, on behalf of dairy farmer families, is proud to support schools in the fight for healthier kids with the opportunities for Fuel Up to Play 60 schools to write for grants to kick off or enhance their wellness plan in their schools.
The funds from the Hometown Grants can be utilized by the receiving schools in many ways to optimize healthy eating and physical activity based on local needs and interests. This could range from vending machine wraps to support smart snacking, improving school breakfasts and summer feeding programs to physical activity equipment.
Dairy milk provides nine essential nutrients including calcium, potassium, and vitamin D which many American's aren't getting enough of. Local dairy farmer Charles Hatcher, who is also a Spring Station middle school football coach, said he hopes McCourty's visit might encourage young people to drink more milk and get active.
"We are excited about the opportunity to expand the Fuel Up To Play 60 program in Tennessee schools through this Fuel UP to Play 60 Tennessee Titans Home Town Grant," said Joan Benton, manager of school health and wellness with Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc. "Healthy students are better students, which is what Fuel Up To Play 60 is all about! The program, launched by the National Dairy Council and the NFL, is focused on getting students to 'fuel up' with nutrient-rich foods like low-fat & fat-free milk, fruits, vegetables and whole grains and to 'get up and play' for 60 minutes a day."
"It's programs like this that allow us to make a true impact in our community. Schools will use these additional resources to help children across the state continue to learn about eating healthy and the benefits of playing 60 minutes every day." said Brad McClanahan, Titans director of marketing.
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by the National Dairy Council, the Southeast Dairy Association and the NFL. It's all about getting students to 'Fuel Up' with nutrient-rich foods missing from their diets, like low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains and to 'get-up and play' for 60 minutes a day. New research shows that better nutrition starting with breakfast, coupled with increased physical activity can lead to better academic achievement.
Whether you are a parent, educator or friend, you can have a positive influence and make a difference in a child's life by encouraging them to eat well and play for 60 minutes a day.