Students from Mispillion Elementary in Milford met one of the Philadelphia Eagles most popular players on Tuesday, May 4, National Football League (NFL) mascot Swoop. Part of the NFL’s Fuel Up To Play 60, Swoop made a lively entrance as students sang the Eagles’ fight song to make him feel at home. Swoop presented Mispillion Principal Susan Donahue with the Touchdown Certificate, recognizing the school for its continued commitment to educating children on eating healthy and staying active.
Targeting childhood obesity in the United States, the National Dairy Council (NDC) and NFL partnered in 2007 to combat the epidemic focusing on education supporting nutrition and physical activity. The programs uses professional athletes to empower youth to “take action to improve nutrition and physical activity at their school and for their own health.”
“Childhood obesity has become an epidemic in the United States. It is possible that today’s children could become the first American generation with a shorter life expectancy than its parents,” state Fuel Up To Play 60 officials on their website. “This very serious challenge is also a solvable one. It requires a deeply shared commitment from both youth and adults and real solutions that recognize the varriers to healthy environments.”
During Tuesday’s assembly children competed against teachers in several games including a milk chugging contest, football toss challenge, fruit and vegetable eating contest, dance off, push up challenge and tug-of-war.
Throughout the year Mispillion teachers and staff have promoted healthy lifestyle choices by their students by using the Fuel Up To Play 60 program.
“The most important thing is to get them up and moving,” commented Mispillion School Nurse Judi Graybeal. “Obesity has become a problem for many kids in our schools and we want to give them education that they can take home with them.”
Mispillion student Demitri Wilson spoke to his fellow classmates during the assembly about his decision to change his eating habits and inactivity. After experiencing loss due to health issues, the Wilson family decided to start making healthier life choices. Demitri started working with a personal trainer this year to work on his weight issues as he and his Mom went to the gym four times a week. Demitri told the student body that he is now making healthier food choices, eating vegetables instead of junk food and has lost 20 pounds since January; he plans to lose another 20 pounds by August.
School officials hope that Mispillion students take these health lessons home to involve not just themselves but their entire family. By making a differnce in decisions made by their family, children will help to grow a community of individuals concerned about living healthy lifestyles.