The Pueblo West View

Desert Sage students fuels up to Play 60

Movement started to help kids, parents and teachers to eat health and stay active

Desert Sage Elementary School is the latest Pueblo West school to join the Fuel Up to Play 60 movement, an initiative through the NFL and National Dairy Council.

Supported locally by the Denver Broncos and the Western Dairy Association, the idea is for students to learn about eating healthy foods and being active for at least an hour a day — fuel up to play 60 minutes.

Desert Sage held its kickoff assembly Oct. 9, which included a visit from Miles, the Denver Bronco mascot, and an interactive video presentation.

“At the elementary level, kids can really make habits of low-fat dairy and have a healthy, active lifestyle of 60 minutes every day,” said Desert Sage Elementary School gym teacher Ceri Howard.

“We want to play for 60 minutes. The wording is different than working out or being active, so it has a really positive connotation for kids.

“They love to play, and I really want to embrace all their enthusiasm for this program and focus it on something great.”

Staff at Desert Sage helped create a student team of 10 kids to help lead their peers in activities with Fuel Up to Play 60.

There is one student each from grades kindergarten, first, second and third, and then three representatives from the fourth and fifth grade classes.

The student team will help chose the “plays” the school takes part of and what types of challenges they will do.

Howard said ideas include a smoothie tasting challenge, so students can “see how easy it is to get low fat dairy as well as fruits and vegetables all into one, or maybe get some new veggies in with fruits they already like,” Howard said.

She said the idea of the student team is for the kids to have ownership over the program, and be the leaders of their classes, teaching, giving examples, etc.

“Brain breaks” will be implemented in the classroom to give teachers more ways and activities to break up the day and get in more exercise.

The student leaders will help teach and run some activities, as well as teach each other how to eat nutrient rich foods and make good choices, “Which will make our school even better,” Howard said.

“I want to thank the Denver Broncos and the Western Dairy Association for helping make this program possible,” she added.

“The energy level and excitement about this program is phenomenal.”

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