Several times a year Fuel Up to Play 60, a free school nutrition and physical activity program, invites participating schools to apply for up to $4,000 in grant money to offset the cost of bringing the full benefits of the program to their classrooms, hallways and lunchrooms. The goal of the program is to increase student knowledge about nutrition and encourage them to engage in more physical activity as the kids and their schools work together to stave off the childhood obesity epidemic.
Earlier this week, Fuel Up announced that their next application window is now open and the schools have until June 1, 2012 to submit their proposals. The grant money can be used to improve student nutrition via courses or books, or to upgrade the school's gym facilities by purchasing new equipment or pay for additional staff training.
One of the strong points of the Fuel Up to Play is that not only teachers and school staff, but also parents and students have ample opportunities to get involved and contribute.
As an education professional, school adult or parent you work every day to help your students reach their full potential and your school implement its wellness policy. Fuel Up to Play 60 gives you dynamic tools to meet these goals and supports you as you make your school a healthier place.
The winners of the grants will be the schools with the best and most comprehensive proposals on how they plan to allocate the funding to meet the program's goals. For ideas, Fuel Up advises students and staff to look at the examples from nearly 70,000 schools across the nation who have already adopted the program. On its website, the "Learn from Others" webinar archive has videos explaining the Six Steps that make up the foundation of the group's fitness and nutrition program along with testimonials and tips from early-adopter schools and advice from partners such as Action for Healthy kids.
Better nutrition, including eating a healthy breakfast each day, helps students get the nutrients they need and may help improve their academic performance.2 What's more, being physically active may help students improve self-esteem, cognitive function and test scores.
Fuel Up to Play 60 is a partnership between the National Dairy Council and the National Football League working with advisers from the United Stated Department of Agriculture.
Since first launching its program in 2010, the group has awarded over $6 million in grants to over 2,100 U.S. schools.