Early on Sunday morning, sixth-grader Lily Sweet leaves Portland for Purdue University in Indiana, where she will represent Oregon at the national Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador Summit. As Oregon’s 2016-2017 Fuel Up to Play 60 State Ambassador, she will attend with students from other states, program advisors and professional athletes from the National Football League.
Inspired and led by youth, Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program created by the National Dairy Council and the NFL, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to help encourage today’s youth to lead healthier lives. The summit provides leadership, communication and program training to select students who drive the Fuel Up to Play 60 program in their respective schools, communities and states.
Lily just completed fifth grade at Elk Meadow Elementary School in Bend, and will go to High Desert Middle School in September. At her school, she has promoted events and activities that encourage her fellow students to eat healthy food and exercise more – like setting up a smoothie booth at school conferences and creating an informational video. “One of my favorite projects that the team and I did was writing and performing our own play to promote wellness,” said Sweet.
This is the second year in a row that an Elk Meadow Elementary School student has been selected to represent Oregon at the national level, which is a rare feat. There were only 67 such ambassadors selected from across the country last year. Elk Meadow has reached Fuel Up to Play 60 “Touchdown Status” for two consecutive years with a strong staff and student commitment to wellness, and the school was selected as one of three Oregon Department of Education School Wellness Award recipients in 2015.
“For two state ambassadors to be selected from the same school back-to-back is quite an accomplishment for the school, the students and their advisor, Grant Mattox” said Crista Hawkins, Director of School Programs for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council.
Fuel Up to Play 60 is active in more than 73,000 schools nationwide and more than half of the public schools in Oregon. The Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council manages Fuel Up to Play 60 grants, supporting school-wide activities in both physical education and better access to nutrition, including school breakfasts. In the latest round, districts and schools will receive nearly $20,000 with a combined reach of more than 340,000 students throughout Oregon.
For more information about Fuel up to Play 60, visit www.fueluptoplay60.com.