ARLINGTON, Texas, July 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- This week, more than 900 students and thought leaders will gather and recommit their support for healthy change in America's schools at the Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador Summit, and the GENYOUth Foundation Nutrition + Physical Activity Learning Connection Summit and Fuel Up-Play-Learn EXPO at the home of the Dallas Cowboys. Ranging from health and wellness experts and educators to government officials and student leaders, participants all share a mission to make a difference in the lives of America's youth via school wellness. Continuing the crucial dialogue that began at the 2012 Learning Connection Summit, the 2014 Summits will focus on public-private partnerships as solutions to help schools set and achieve wellness policies and practices.
"The stakes around school wellness are high, as 15 years of mounting research shows that improved nutrition and increased physical activity are correlated with improved academic achievement," said Dr. David Satcher, 16th U.S. Surgeon General and member of GENYOUth Foundation Board of Directors. "GENYOUth Foundation and its flagship program, Fuel Up to Play 60, perform vital work to bring together key stakeholders to spark new ideas and innovative partnerships around childhood health and wellness for the sake of our nation's future."
A Movement Is Born: Celebrating Successes
Created in collaboration between National Dairy Council (NDC)—founded by America's 49,000 dairy farm families—and the National Football League (NFL), GENYOUth Foundation unites partners with shared interests and has raised more than $30 million in funds to date to help America's youth achieve a healthier future. Over the past three years, GENYOUth Foundation has rapidly grown into a leading voice for childhood health and wellness, bringing together the public and private sectors as change agents for healthier students and schools in meaningful ways.
- Launching the program that works for school wellness: Fuel Up to Play 60 has grown into the nation's largest in-school wellness program, currently active in more than 73,000 schools reaching more than 38 million kids. The program empowers students to work with their schools and communities to find creative ways to increase access to nutrient-rich foods and increased physical activity in school. Providing additional funding and leadership opportunities, GENYOUth Foundation's AdVenture Capital, with significant support from SAP, applies the principles of entrepreneurial investment to the challenge of school wellness by giving students an opportunity to "pitch" their healthy school ideas to business and health leaders for potential financial support.
- Spotlighting the science: The Wellness Impact report—created by GENYOUth Foundation, NDC, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American School Health Association (ASHA)—drew attention to "the learning connection," the knowledge that improved nutrition and greater opportunities for physical activity in the school environment can positively impact student health and academic performance.
- Galvanizing action across the country: Regional town halls hosted by GENYOUth Foundation in seven U.S. cities brought together local health and wellness experts, government officials, community leaders and students to develop school wellness solutions and generate actionable steps, uniting school stakeholders with the private sector.
"I've done everything from meeting Warren Buffett to receiving funds to enhance a school fitness program for the elementary schools in my hometown," said Kaylene Khosla, sophomore at Pueblo South High School in Pueblo, Colo. "The experiences I've had with GENYOUth Foundation and Fuel Up to Play 60 have given me a voice in my community and the leadership skills I need to create real change."
Looking Toward the Future: Continuing to Effect Change for Schools
The 2014 GENYOUth Foundation Summit will focus on the urgency of private sector support for school wellness initiatives by highlighting a host of key insights and cutting-edge trends linked to school wellness.
- Growing evidence and growing partners: Attendees will explore the latest learning connection science and review innovative solutions being offered to schools. With support from its partners including NIKE and ChildObesity180, Let's Move! Active Schools (LMAS) will work with Fuel Up to Play 60 to make quality physical activity a part of every kid's day with best-in-class strategies, like the 100 Mile Club® program.
- Empowering youth: Presenters will illustrate innovative ideas to harness the energy of today's youth leaders to work with schools and communities.
- Focusing efforts on at-risk communities: Thanks to a generous grant from the PepsiCo Foundation, GENYOUth Foundation will be launching Fuel Up to Play 60 en Español in the 2015 school year. This will expand the reach of the nation's most prominent school wellness program to the Latino community, a population in which the prevalence of weight issues, including obesity[i] and food insecurity[ii], is especially high in the United States. Fuel Up to Play 60 en Español will provide Spanish-language and culturally relevant resources as well as grants to empower youth to choose nutrient-rich foods and to be active for at least 60 minutes every day.
Bringing Leaders Together: The GENYOUth Foundation Nutrition + Physical Activity Learning Connection Summit and Fuel Up-Play-Learn EXPO
Furthering its work to generate support for school wellness, GENYOUth Foundation's 2014 Summit - in collaboration with National Dairy Council, the National Football League, SHAPE America, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health, and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas - brings together attendees from a broad range of disciplines including health and wellness, education, government, philanthropy, the private and not-for-profit sectors, media, and importantly students to identify new ways to improve nutrition and physical activity in the school environment. GENYOUth Foundation will also unveil The Quest for Healthy, High Achieving Schools: GENYOUth Foundation Progress Report 2014 at the Summit, outlining the Foundation's key successes over the past three years and looking ahead to future goals. The report is made possible through support from Quaker Oats, and will be shared with all attendees.
After the Summit, attendees will participate in the Fuel Up-Play-Learn EXPO, featuring NFL Hall of Famer Troy Aikman. They will take to the Dallas Cowboys field to run football drills with NFL players, build dream playgrounds, run obstacle courses, keep their energy up by refueling at nutrition stations and mingle with students, athletes, health professionals and other national leaders.
"Events like this, which bring together thought leaders from the worlds of business, health and wellness and schools, would not be possible without funding from companies who have worked with GENYOUth over the past year, like Jamba Juice, SAP, and Quaker. We appreciate their support and that of all our event sponsors," said Alexis Glick, CEO of GENYOUth Foundation. "By hosting this national gathering in the home of the Dallas Cowboys, with the generous support of the Jones family, we are able to elevate the quest for healthy, high achieving students and schools. Schools cannot act alone to create a healthier environment—we need more support from everyone, like those who attend the Summit today, to work together to affect change for the wellbeing of our nation's youth."
Inspiring Future Generations: The Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador Summit
From NFL player visits to physical activity and cooking competitions, the Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador Summit at the University of Texas-Arlington brings together students from across the country for a one-of-a-kind experience that will inspire and equip them with tools to create healthy changes both personally and at school. It brings together top notch student leaders from across the country to share ideas on teamwork, communication and leadership in an effort to help them make healthy, positive changes in their schools.
Nationwide, more than 20,000 students serve as Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassadors. As an Ambassador, each student has committed to lead their generation into a healthier tomorrow by making positive changes at their school.
GENYOUth is Grateful to Summit Sponsors
Albertsons, American Airlines, Aquafina, Atlanta Fixture, Borden Cheese, BRAX Fundraising, ChildObesity180, Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, The Cooper Institute, Dairy MAX, Dallas Cowboys, Domino's, Edelman, FedEx Office, Frito Lay, Growums, Innovation Center for US Dairy, Jamba Juice, KaBoom!, LEGO Education, PepsiCo Foundation, Quaker Oats, SAP, Texas Health Resources, United Healthcare, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, and Waring Blender.
About Fuel Up to Play 60
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Football League (NFL) and National Dairy Council (NDC), which was founded by America's dairy farmers, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. As a result of the program, last year 14 million students made better food choices by selecting nutritious options like low-fat and fat-free dairy products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Additionally, 14 million students are getting more physically active during the school 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 contests. 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 GENYOUth Foundation
Founded through an unprecedented public/private partnership with National Dairy Council (NDC) and the National Football League (NFL) committed to child health and wellness, GENYOUth brings leaders in health, education, government and business together in a movement to help America's youth achieve a healthier future. The Foundation officially launched on February 4, 2011 at Super Bowl XLV with the signing of a historic six-way Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Education and Health & Human Services. GENYOUth empowers students to improve nutrition and physical activity by taking small steps to accelerate a lifetime of healthy changes. When youth are given a voice, change can happen. For more information, visit www.GENYOUthFoundation.org.
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 help tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL's long-standing commitment to health and fitness with partner organizations like the National Dairy Council. NFL PLAY 60 is also implemented locally, as part of the NFL's in-school, after-school and team-based programs. For more information, visit NFLRush.com.
About Let's Move! Active Schools
A part of the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative, Let's Move! Active Schools is an unprecedented national collaboration that empowers champions to create active school environments. To help students reach their full potential, Let's Move! Active Schools equips school champions with the tools and resources to help students get a combined 60 minutes of physical activity before, during, and after the school day.
Key organizations in the initiative include Alliance for a Healthier Generation; Action for Healthy Kids; BOKS; ChildObesity180; GENYOUth Foundation; Kaiser Permanente; NBA FIT; NIKE, Inc.; Partnership for a Healthier America; the President's Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition; Safe Routes to School National Partnership; SHAPE America; SPARK; U.S. Department of Education; and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Find out more at www.letsmoveschools.org.
[i] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. Obesity and Hispanic Americans. Available at: http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/content.aspx?ID=6459. Accessed on June 25, 2014.
[ii] Feeding America. Hispanic/Latino Hunger. Available at: http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-facts/hispanic-latino-hunger.aspx. Accessed on June 25, 2014.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
SOURCE GENYOUth Foundation