Linebacker Sam Acho visited John M. Smyth Elementary School in Chicago on Tuesday, Oct. 24, where he helped present a $10,000 NFL Hometown Grant to Chicago Public Schools Network 6 from the Chicago Bears and Midwest Dairy Council.
The grant will support Smyth's nutrition and physical activity programs. Staley Da Bear and representatives from Chicago Public Schools Network 6, Midwest Dairy Council and the Chicago Bears were also in attendance.
"The Chicago Bears are honored to provide this grant to Smyth Elementary School," said Matt Simeone, Director of Community & Alumni Relations for the Chicago Bears. "It is critical that schools and communities work together to provide solutions to increase health and wellness among their youth."
Following the presentation, Acho helped the students in attendance PLAY 60 by leading them through a variety of football and exercise drills.
At the conclusion of the assembly, Smyth Elementary School was presented with 30 LearnFit Adjustable Standing Desks by Ergotron, Inc. With several studies underscoring the positive impact of standing desks on health and academics, Smyth Elementary will use these desks to support physical activity in the classroom and the school's Fuel Up to PLAY 60 health and wellness initiatives. Partnerships with companies like Ergotron provide Fuel Up to PLAY 60 schools and students additional opportunities to achieve their health and wellness goals.
"I remember growing up, I had people tell me I wasn't going to be able to make it to the NFL or I wasn't smart enough or fast enough…and yet I did it. So I was just reminding the students today that whatever they put their minds to, they can do," said Acho. "Even as I was talking to some of the kids here, I was reminded of the messages my dad told me growing up and how that helped me become the man that I am. So I was trying to just relay some of those same messages that I heard to the students here at Smyth."
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). 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. The program additionally 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.
Visit FuelUpToPlay60.com to learn more.