Hundreds of students at Baker County Middle School joined* *with Jaguars Running Back Justin Forsett and Fullback Lonnie Pryor at a school assembly on Tuesday, October 15 to kick off the 2013 NFL/Jaguars Play 60 Challenge program in Northeast Florida. This league-wide initiative is now in its seventh year and was created to promote physical activity and healthy eating habits, in partnership with the American Heart Association.
In northeast Florida, the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation has teamed up with THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health at Wolfson Children's Hospital and the American Heart Association-First Coast to partner with 22 schools in Clay, Duval, Baker, St. Johns and Nassau counties.
The Play 60 Challenge is a six-week program targeting sixth-grade students. Through hands-on activities and journaling, the students are challenged by their teachers to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity during the school day and 30 minutes after school. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise for children and adolescents on most days of the week, preferably daily.
As part of the program, all of the schools receive information about health and fitness they can integrate into their existing curriculum. Additionally, the schools will plan healthy activities for students over the next several months. The schools each received a $1,500 grant to support the NFL/Jaguars Play 60 Challenge.
Each student will complete a "Game Planner" to track their physical activity and eating habits over four weeks, with the goal of increasing fitness and improving good nutrition. Jaguars Foundation President Peter Racine noted, "Sixth grade is an optimum time to implement this program. The students are entering a new stage of independence in their lives and are open to new challenges. They are making more decisions about what they eat and which sports or other personal fitness options they want to take up for themselves."
One school in each of the five counties is the recipient of an NFL/Jaguars Play 60 Challenge kickoff assembly between now and December 3, 2013. At school assemblies, students will have the opportunity to hear from a Jacksonville Jaguars players and receive HandsOnly CPR training provided by local emergency medical personnel through the American Heart Association. Also, through hands-on activities, educators with THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health at Wolfson Children's Hospital will teach students how to read and interpret nutrition labels and make informed food choices.
In addition to the Baker County Middle School kickoff that took place on October 15, the following kickoffs will be held:
Nassau County: Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Hilliard Middle School,
1 Flashes Ave., Hilliard, FL 32046
St. Johns County: Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 3 to 4:30 p.m., St. Johns Technical High School, 2980 Collins Ave., Building E, St. Augustine, FL, 32084
Duval County:Tuesday, November 19, 2013, time TBD, Matthew Gilbert Middle School,
1424 Franklin St., Jacksonville, FL 32206
Clay County: Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 1 to 2:20 p.m., Doctor's Inlet Elementary School, 2634 County Road 220, Middleburg, FL 32068
Media is encouraged to attend the November & December events –Visuals and interviews with children, NFL players and healthcare professionals will be available.
In all, 22 schools on the First Coast were selected to participate in the 2013 NFL/Jaguars PLAY 60 Challenge including:
- Alfred I. DuPont Middle School
- Arlington Middle School
- Baker County Middle School
- Callahan Middle School
- Clay Hill Elementary School
- Doctor's Inlet Elementary School
- Fernandina Beach Middle School
- Fort Caroline Middle School
- Hilliard Middle Senior High School
- James Weldon Johnson College Preparatory Middle School
- John E. Ford Elementary School
- Joseph Stilwell Middle School
- Kirby-Smith Middle School
- Lake Shore Middle School
- Matthew Gilbert Middle School
- Middleburg Elementary School
- Oakleaf Junior High School
- Ocean Way Middle School
- RideOut Elementary School
- S. Bryan Jennings Elementary School
- St. Johns Technical High School
- Yulee Middle School
Teachers and administrators at non-participating schools can access PLAY 60 Challenge educational materials at www.heart.org/nflplay60challenge.