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Bears host Fuel Up to Play 60 summit at Halas Hall

More than 120 Illinois students in grades 3-12 gathered on Saturday, May 21 at the Walter Payton Center at Halas Hall for a nutrition and NFL-themed event to reward their efforts to eat healthy and stay active. The celebration was one of nine events throughout the region held by Midwest Dairy Council and the dairy farmers who help support the Fuel Up to Play 60 program in local schools.

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Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council, Midwest Dairy Council and the NFL in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture that was created to encourage students to make healthier nutritional choices and commit to at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. In order to qualify for the Illinois Reward Summit, participating schools had to meet specific criteria, including hosting a kick-off event and implementing healthy eating and physical activity initiatives.

"The students who are involved with the Fuel Up to Play 60 program work hard all year to encourage their classmates and others in the community to eat right and get active every day, so this Reward Summit is a fun way to get together and celebrate those successes with other schools from across the state," said Midwest Dairy Council Vice President of Health and Wellness Melissa Young. "The impact that these students are creating is amazing, and we love seeing them leave this event with even more enthusiasm to continue with their great work for years to come."

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Bears linebacker Sam Acho discussed how healthy eating and staying active helped prepare him for a career in the NFL.

Students participated in a variety sessions focused on dairy farming, nutrition and physical activity. Bears linebacker Sam Acho discussed how healthy eating and staying active helped prepare him for a career in the NFL, and afterwards punter Pat O'Donnell, defensive back Adrian Amos and football players from Glenbard West High School led students through a variety of football drills.

Additionally, the students interacted with the Chicago Bears Monster Squad, Bears mascot Staley Da Bear and Illinois Dairy Farmer Brock Irwin, and Illinois Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassadors John Dugan from Glenbard West High School and Troy McDaniels from William Brown Elementary led the students through a healthy recipe demonstration featuring yogurt parfaits.

Dairy farmers created the National Dairy Council in 1915 to provide nutrition research and education. Over the past century, the organization has continued to take a leading role in community and school health and wellness by creating and supporting important programs such as Fuel Up to Play 60.

The teams that attended the summit represented the following Illinois schools:

• Archdiocese of Chicago, St. Angela School
• Chicago Public Schools, Columbus Elementary School
• Chicago Public Schools, George Westinghouse High School
• Chicago Public Schools, Hancock College Preparatory High School
• Chicago Public Schools, Hefferan Elementary School
• Chicago Public Schools, Kellman Corporate Community Elementary
• Chicago Public Schools, Stowe Elementary School
• Chicago Public Schools, Tilton Elementary School
• Chicago Public Schools, Von Linne Elementary
• Chicago Public Schools, William Brown Elementary School
• Community Consolidated School District 15, Lincoln Elementary School
• Community Unit School District 303, Haines Middle School
• Community Unit School District 303, Richmond Elementary School
• Community Unit School District 303, Wredling Middle School
• East Aurora School District 131, Beaupre Elementary School
• East Aurora School District 131, Krug Elementary School
• East Aurora School District 131, Gates Elementary School
• East Aurora School District 131, Johnson Elementary School
• Elgin School District U-46, Creekside Elementary School
• Elgin School District U-46, Lincoln Elementary School
• Elgin School District U-46, Lords Park Elementary School
• Glenbard Township District 87, Glenbard West High School
• Glenbard Township District 87, Glenbard South High School
• Rockford School District 205, Gregory Elementary School
• Rockford School District 205, Marsh Elementary School
• Rockford School District 205, Thomas Jefferson High School
• Waukegan Public School District, Hyde Park Elementary School
• Woodstock Community Unit School District 200, Westwood Elementary School

To learn more about Fuel Up to Play 60 and how schools can get involved next year, visit FuelUptoPlay60.com.

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 more than 13 million students made better food choices by selecting nutritious options like low-fat and fat-free dairy products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Additionally, nearly 16 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. Visit FuelUptoPlay60.com to learn more.

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