Waukegan Student Hones Leadership Skills at Nutrition + Physical Activity Learning Connection Summit « BackView PDFPrintEmail Friend
Chicago, IL, Oct. 12, 2012 – Alejandro Guadarrama, an eighth-grader at Miguel Juarez Middle School in Waukegan, was among eight student leaders selected to attend the 2012 GENYOUth Learning Connection Summit in Washington, DC on September 18-19. The forum explored how nutrition in the cafeteria and physical activity in the gym can influence academic achievement in the classroom, and invited the students to pitch ideas to make their schools healthier.
Alejandro is a national student ambassador for the Fuel Up to Play 60 program for the 2012-2013 school year. Fuel Up to Play 60, created in partnership with National Dairy Council and the NFL in collaboration with the USDA and provided by Midwest Dairy Council in Illinois, encourages students to eat healthy, be active and make a difference in their schools and was recently endorsed by Illinois Governor Quinn. At the Summit, Alejandro proposed an expanded sandwich cart and a walking track with fitness stations for Juarez. GENYOUth will award grants at a later date to the strongest student-led concepts to help bring them to life “for students by students” in the school environment.
The Learning Connection Summit was co-hosted by GENYouth Foundation, National Dairy Council, the American College of Sports Medicine and the American School Health Association, and featured speakers and panelists including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, 16th U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, Co-host of ABC’s “The Chew” Chef Carla Hall, Director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Shellie Pfohl, and more, all sharing their innovative approaches to improving nutrition and physical activity.
“The Summit was great and sharing my ideas to help Juarez, with Dr. Satcher and the others, made me feel like a leader,” said Alejandro, who also took part in agility drills with former NFL player Kurt Warner and made low-fat yogurt parfaits with Chef Hall – filmed for an upcoming episode of “The Chew “- an idea he hopes to incorporate in his school’s breakfast menu. “I want students to make their own yogurt parfaits to give them more dairy selection,” he explained.
In his new role as a student ambassador, Alejandro has worked to add fruits and vegetables to his school’s lunch menu, introduced a make-your-own sandwich cart, organized a tailgate party with parent volunteers to celebrate football season with healthy foods, and executed a fitness day that included distributing pedometers to show kids that physical activity can be fun.
“Alejandro has truly grown into a fine addition to our Fuel Up to Play 60 team at Juarez,” said Ray Arceo, PE and health teacher at Juarez and Illinois Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor of the Year. “We attended a Student Ambassador Summit in July in Washington, DC, and Alejandro has applied what he learned, as evidenced by his being invited to share his ideas at this Learning Connection Summit,” explained Arceo. “I’m proud to share this opportunity with Alejandro’s parents, Rosa and Melchor Guadarrma, and glad that his mother, who accompanied him to the forum, was able to see her son in action!”
About Midwest Dairy Council
Midwest Dairy Council®, an affiliate of National Dairy Council, is the nutrition education division of Midwest Dairy Association. The Council is dedicated to dairy nutrition research and education through the investment of more than 9,500 dairy farm families across 10 Midwestern states, and is committed to child health and wellness through our collaborative program, Fuel Up to Play 60. For more information, visit www.midwestdairy.com. Follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook at Midwest Dairy.
About Fuel Up to Play 60
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council (NDC) and National Football League (NFL), with additional partnership support from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program encourages youth to consume nutrient-dense foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every 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 challenges. 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.
About National Dairy Council
National Dairy Council (NDC), the non-profit organization funded by the national dairy checkoff program, is committed to nutrition education and research-based communications. NDC provides science-based nutrition information to, and in collaboration with, a variety of stakeholders committed to fostering a healthier nation, including health professionals, educators, school nutrition directors, academia, industry, consumers and media. Established in 1915, NDC comprises a staff of registered dietitians and nutrition research and communications experts across the country. NDC has taken a leadership role in promoting child health and wellness through programs such as Fuel Up to Play 60. Developed by NDC and the National Football League (NFL), Fuel Up to Play 60 encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. For more information, visit www.NationalDairyCouncil.org.
About NFL PLAY 60
Designed to tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL’s long-standing commitment to health and wellness with corporate and non-profit partner organizations. PLAY 60 also is implemented locally, as part of the NFL’s in-school, after-school and team-based programs. Since the program was launched in 2007, the NFL has committed more than $250 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for public service announcements. The NFL and its teams have built more than 120 NFL Youth Fitness Zones, organized more than 1,500 PLAY 60 youth events, and integrated programs into more than 77,000 schools nationwide since the campaign launched.
GENYOUth Foundation was founded to inspire youth behavior change. It invites business and philanthropic partners who share in its mission to join its efforts in pursuing a sustainable solution to the childhood obesity epidemic and help ensure that America’s children have access to the health and wellness information that will help them succeed. Our Flagship Program, Fuel Up to Play 60, is the largest health and wellness program in schools across the country. We believe that when students are given a voice, change can happen. For more information, visit www.genyouthfoundation.org.
Media resources, including press conference video footage and photos are available at http://supporters.fueluptoplay60.com/newsroom/news-and-events/
Whether rubbing elbows with Gov. Pat Quinn (who signed a pledge at the Illinois State Fair to support Fuel Up to Play 60) or organizing a tailgate party with parent volunteers to celebrate football season with healthy foods — Alejandro Guadarrama is meeting new people and participating in new activities that are honing his leadership skills as a Fuel Up to Play ambassador.