“Fuel, fuel; Up, Up” and “Let’s Play 60!” were the cheers of the day at Dealey Montessori Vanguard and International Academy in Dallas on September 21. School cheerleaders and Rowdy, the Dallas Cowboys mascot, led the school-wide pep rally to kick off the school’s Fuel Up to Play 60 program.
The celebration began with a press conference including remarks from several special guests. Daryl “Moose” Johnston, former Dallas Cowboys player, Bradie James, current linebacker for the Cowboys, Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa and Alan VanderHorst, a Texas dairy farmer, each spoke to the students about the importance of eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise. It was apparent from what followed that the school and students have taken the messages to heart.
Following the speeches, kids did short sprints to pick up bean bags, ran through a ladder-pattern on the floor, jumped from one raised-step to another, bowled down pins, scooted across the floor on all fours, hopped through a hop-scotch, and finally pulled themselves along a zip line while sitting on a wheeled seat to the finish line. I got tired just watching them! Afterwards students sampled new healthier school meals offerings.
Cowboys Johnston and James sat with one group of students and talked about the importance of eating healthy in addition to getting plenty of exercise. Rowdy was a big hit as he made the rounds encouraging students to try the new foods. A few days later the Houston Texans joined students at Pershing Middle School in Houston to kick-off their Fuel Up to Play 60. Middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans, cheerleaders, and Houston Texans team mascot, Toro, were the main attraction. Special guests included the Houston ISD athletic director, a Texas dairy farmer, and cheerleaders from Pershing Middle School.
The school kicked off the event with a pep rally, then had a competition on an inflatable obstacle course. Following the physical activities Houston students also participated in a taste-test of new foods and had a milk toast, complete with milk mustaches. Dairy MAX, a regional non-profit organization affiliated with the National Dairy Council, sponsored the two events. The Southwest Region plans to partner with DairyMAX in future events to promote Fuel Up to Play 60 to school students in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. We look forward to working with partners and schools throughout the Southwest Region to promote healthy eating, physical activity, and show how Fuel Up to Play 60 can help schools fuel up to achieve recognition in the HealthierUS School Challenge.