WEST ORANGE, NJ – The West Orange School District recently received a check from the National Football League (NFL) in the amount of $14,680 thanks to the “Fuel Up to Play 60” program, an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by the National Dairy Council, the NFL, and the USDA to support young people in leading healthier lives.

This is the third grant the district has received in the three years it has been participating in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. The grant money is utilized by the school district for exercise equipment and by Sodexo, the district’s food services provider, for healthy nutritional options.

To date, the district has received more than $32,000 for initiatives that continue to expose the physical education staff and students to the concepts of the Fuel Up to Play 60 philosophy.

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This year, the school district was invited to MetLife stadium for a Fuel Up to Play 60 training camp. Local physical education teachers selected 10 students based on their leadership skills to participate alongside Director of Physical Education Kevin Alvine and Food Services Director Josh Kreutz.

Students participating included WOHS students Kyla Truman, Emma Mitchell and Kaya Schultz; Mt. Pleasant students Joseph Palumbo and Bryce Davis; Redwood students Jake Coblentz-Brown and Maya Coblentz-Brown; and Washington students Eden Jones, Trigal Rosario and Mason Insan.

The students and teachers spent the morning listening to New York Jets center Jonatthan Harrison discuss the value of healthy eating and exercise while reducing the amount of video game play; meeting a Sussex County dairy farmer; participating in a “Shark Tank” activity to create a slogan that provided a healthier lunch option; and participating in some football drills before enjoying a nutritious lunch.

“This year’s grant money will be split equally between the PE department and Food Services,” said Alvine. “In PE, I will be developing an ‘All-In-All Abilities’ Fuel Up to Play 60 program [for grades 4-9] that provides all students with additional equipment choices helping them to participate more no matter what their skill levels are. Josh plans to institute the ‘Snack Smarter’ plan to purchase more blenders for nutritious smoothies.”

Learn more about the Fuel Up to Play 60 program here.