UNION, NJ – Sixth grade students Burnet Middle School were treated to a special visit from four New York Giant players who came to school to them moving as part of the American Heart Association’s Play 60 initiative.  As an extra bonus at the event, Modell’s Sporting Goods donated $1,500 to the school for athletic equipment. 

Jake Carlock (#52), a linebacker from Long Island; Reggie White, Jr. (#13), a wide receiver who attended Monmouth University; John Hilliman (#23), a running back from Rutgers; and defensive lineman Freedom Akinmoladun (#73) from Nebraska got the students moving on the field with various activities and games.

“Each year the Giant’s pick three or four schools to visit to help promote Play 60,” said Jim Presbrey, Vice President Youth Market New Jersey, American Heart Association   The program is aimed at sixth- and seventh-graders.  “This is when physical activity begins to decline,” added Presbrey.    “We want to help promote health using the platform of the NFL.”

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“The students are very excited for this event today,” said Burnet Middle School principal David Shaw.  “It’s great for these role models to come out here and show the kids how important physical activity is.  They are having a great time."

"I would like to thank Play 60 and the Giant's organization to encourage our students to participate in any type of physical activity which makes them happy," said Linda Ionta, Union Athletic Director.

“We partner with the American Heart Association every year and say bring us your best kids,” said Ethan Medley, Director of Community Outreach for the Giants.  “And this year, they brought us here.”  Medley said it’s important for children to find an activity they will enjoy doing for the rest of their lives.  “Being active makes you happy.”

The school will be able to use the Modell’s Sporting Goods donation to purchase the equipment of their choice.

According to the American Heart Association, school-age youth (ages 6-17) should continue to strive for 60 minutes moderate- to- vigorous physical activity achieved throughout the day.  Preschool aged children (age 3-5 years) should be encouraged to move and engage in active play as well as in structured activities such as Physical Education (PE). Although the specific amount of activity needed to improve bone health and avoid excess body fat in young children is
not well defined, a reasonable target may be 3 hours per day of activity of all intensities: light, moderate, or vigorous intensity.  Replace sedentary behavior with activity whenever possible.