TRACY, Calif. (July 14, 2016) – La Quinta Middle School scored a touchdown when two students were selected to represent the state of California at the 7th annual Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60) Student Summit in West Lafayette, Indiana. Kymani Nix and Karissa Gonzales were chosen to serve as ambassadors for healthy eating and physical activity for the 2016-2017 school year. FUTP 60 is a partnership between the National Football League (NFL) and the nation’s dairy farmers in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Food & Agriculture (USDA) and is the country’s largest in-school health and wellness program and engages youth directly as grassroots leaders to increase access to nutrient-rich foods and physical activity at school.
At the end of July, Nix and Gonzales will have the opportunity to meet 154 of their fellow leaders representing 45 states at host school Purdue University. These ambassadors will help direct the FUTP 60 program, which relies on input from and participation of students to grow and evolve. Students will also have the chance to meet NFL Players and participate in exciting events including unique physical activities at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, a trip to local farms and much more.
“Coming from a 3rd-generation dairy farm it is exciting to see kids like me coming together to learn more about becoming a leader. Last year in Chicago, we learned how we can make a difference in encouraging friends and our communities to stay healthy and active, something I’ve continued over the last year to reach both kids and adults,” said Brielle Prock, 2015-2016 California Student Ambassador who continues to advocate for the program as a school ambassador.
“We are extremely proud of the passion and enthusiasm these young leaders have shown for participating in the FUTP 60 program by making physical activity and healthy food options accessible to their peers,” said Jennifer Giambroni, Director of Communications for the California Milk Advisor Board (CMAB), which activates the program on behalf of the state’s more than 1,400 dairy farm families. “California dairy families are proud that we have activated over 49% of California’s school districts with students just like Kymani and Karissa taking an active role in shaping the future of their fellow students and communities.”
The two students – both entering the 8th grade – play an active role in both physical activity and nutrition on their campus making them the ideal candidates to represent the diversity of program activations possible at schools throughout the state. Nix has been the head referee of the La Quinta Middle School intramural sports team for the past two years where he has organized tournaments, trained the student referee team, and served as a referee regularly. He also played an integral role in setting up Fitness Fridays and was a standout athlete in martial arts and basketball. Gonzales has coordinated weekly healthy smoothie fundraisers and also ran the school garden. In addition, Gonzales introduced students to healthy snack options as part of the monthly Wellness Wednesday program. She is a standout athlete in soccer and golf and dreams of playing for the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).
“Our school has really rallied around FUTP 60 as research shows well-nourished, physically active students do better in school and are healthier,” said Laura Spradlin, program advisor at La Quinta Middle School. “Kymani and Karissa are just two success stories coming out of the FUTP 60 program where kids are making an impact on health and wellness every day.”
About Fuel Up to Play 60
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Football League (NFL) and National Dairy Council (NDC), which was founded by America’s dairy farmers, in collaboration with the 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. As a result of the program, last year 14 million students made better food choices by selecting nutritious options like low-fat and fat-free dairy products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Additionally, 14 million students are getting more physically active during the school 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 contests. 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 Association/Foundation, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association and School Nutrition Association. Visit FuelUpToPlay60.com to learn more.