Grandview Elementary School students got a big taste of football at the kickoff event of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program Wednesday.
According to a news release from Fuel up to Play 60, the program was launched by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It’s a chance for students to take action to improve nutrition and physical activity at Grandview. The national program started in 2009 and has close to 73,000 schools enrolled and more than 11 million students involved.
Grandview celebrated the program with a tailgate party on the playground as Windsor High School football players helped the kindergarten through fifth-grade students at various stations that included punting, passing and kicking in the morning. Students were also treated to a healthy tailgate snack of cheese sticks from the dairy council and fruit smoothies from Max Muscle Sports Nutrition from Loveland and Fort Collins. Miles, the official mascot of the Denver Broncos, was also on hand to pump up the students during an afternoon assembly in the gymnasium.
Grandview Principal Dave Grubbs, who looked like a leftover NFL replacement official all decked out in black and white striped attire, was making sure his students were staying active. Grubbs said Grandview received close to a $4,000 grant from the program.
“Grandview got almost $4,000, and the stipulations of the grant include doing three active plays,” he said. “Our three active plays are active recess, which is a more structured style of recess. Kids wear a referee’s shirt. There are four different activities that they have to choose. It’s teaching sportsmanship, it’s teaching officiating, leadership skills. It’s offered each day of the week. Then we’ll have family fitness night (in February) and (physical education teacher) Andy (Klatt) is doing an intramural program.”
The intramural program includes a running club, basketball, stretching and yoga.
Klatt, who coordinated the Fuel Up to Play 60 program at Mountain View Elementary School last year, said the program also incorporates three healthy eating plays challenging the students to eat healthy and learn the importance of dairy products.
“The biggest benefit that I see is the opportunity for all kids to be involved in different aspects of active play,” Grubbs said. “Recess can be a kid’s favorite time of the day, and there are certain times where it can be the hardest because they might get left out. If they’re chosen last on a team, that memory sticks with them for a long time. Active recess gives us a chance to teach kids how to help one another and participate better.”
Third-grader Aiden Steury, 8, said he enjoyed the tailgate kickoff event because he likes to punt the football.
“This is really fun,” Aiden said. “It’s really important so you can stay healthy.”
Rowan Rodriguez, 8, a third-grader, is a football fan.
“I liked how we mostly played football. It was fun,” Rowan said. “We don’t normally play football at our school. I like how the (Windsor) football players were here and how they were helping each station.”
Cheryl Reumann, a representative from the Western Dairy Association from Thornton, was at the event and helped coordinate the Miles assembly. She said the Fuel Up to Play 60 program is unique because it empowers the youth to take the lead in their school environment.
“It’s definitely beneficial to get them learning at an early age,” Reumann said. “Andy sees the benefits of this program and takes it above and beyond. This is actually my first experience at a tailgating party. This is all Andy’s idea.”