Fuel Up to Play 60

School-Breakfast-Fuels-Greatness-Edison-School-3.10.15Earlier this week, New England Patriots Safety Duron Harmon, Former New England Patriots Tight End Jermaine Wiggins, Massachusetts dairy farmer Susan Shields and Audrey Rowe of the Food and Nutrition Service at the United States Department of Agriculture visited Thomas A. Edison School in Brighton to get students excited about school breakfast. Fuel Up to Play 60 is the nation’s largest in-school wellness program and has launched a “Fuel Greatness” campaign to mobilize communities to take action and advocate for, and implement, alternative breakfast options in school districts nationwide.

“School breakfast provides students with a solid foundation for learning,” said Wiggins. “It provides the fuel they need to set their day in a positive direction toward success at school which is important each and every day.” “School breakfast is one of the most important things we can offer our students,” said Mary Driscoll, Principal, Thomas A. Edison School. “It is our duty as school leaders to make sure our students have access to healthy foods at school throughout the day. School breakfast is essential to a child’s ability to learn. It’s a tool for success just like books, homework and class time.”


Students who eat breakfast at school are more likely to succeed in the classroom, and thanks to the Cabot Family Charitable Trust and New England Dairy & Food Council, students at six Boston Public Schools, including the Thomas A. Edison School, are eating a healthy breakfast more often. To help support the expansion of school breakfast in Boston Public Schools, $25,000 in funding was provided by the Trust to New England Dairy & Food Council.

These funds go a long way toward helping students develop healthy behaviors at school that fuel greatness in the classroom and will benefit them for a lifetime” said Katherine S. McHugh, executive director, Cabot Family Charitable Trust.Research demonstrates that good nutrition, including daily breakfast, and increased physical activity can lead to improved academic performance1, but according to one study, more than 60 percent of students do not eat breakfast each day.2 Many kids are showing up to school hungry, and hungry kids may not be able to succeed in the classroom.

“Good nutrition is as critical to a child’s overall success as the curriculum that our schools teach every day,” said Audrey Rowe, the Administrator for the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). “A well-balanced breakfast offers an important nutritional foundation and charts the course for a healthier next generation.”

To learn more about Fuel Greatness, Fuel Up to Play 60, and school breakfast, visit: http://www.fueluptoplay60.com. Join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at #FuelGreatness



Last Tuesday, December 16, 2014, the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, in collaboration with New England Dairy & Food Council (NEDFC), representing more than 150 dairy farm families in Massachusetts, awarded the Edward Everett Elementary School in Dorchester with a $20,000 ‘Hometown Grant’ to support nutrition and physical activity programs within the school. The school celebrated the grant with an event featuring New England Patriots players including wide receiver Julian Edelman, Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft and Massachusetts Dairy Farmer Marlow Duffy.

“We were excited to visit the Edward Everett School and present them with this Hometown grant,” said Kraft. “We can see the faculty and students passion for health and wellness and wanted to be able to show our support. It is our hope that this grant will help provide much needed equipment and renovations to help the students continue to play 60 minutes a day.”


Mayor Martin J. Walsh was particularly thrilled to learn of this grant, as he attended the Everett Elementary school as a student. “This contribution from the New England Patriots and Massachusetts Dairy Farm Families will help provide much needed programming for Boston Public Schools students,” said Mayor Walsh. “Our students should have unlimited access to physical activities and health initiatives to help them grow and thrive in the classroom. Both the Patriots and Dairy Farm Families have been longtime supporters of the City of Boston and the well-being of our youth, and I’d like to extend my gratitude to them.”

“We are honored to be presented with this grant and the opportunity to further strengthen our school’s wellness and physical activity programming for our 287 students,” said Laura Miceli, principal, Edward Everett Elementary School, Dorchester, MA.

During the event, the students heard from New England Patriots players, including wide receiver Julian Edelman, about the importance to being active for at least 60 minutes every day and fueling up with nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat and fat-free dairy.


Created in partnership by the National Football League and National Dairy Council, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Fuel Up to Play 60 is the nation’s largest in-school wellness program creating real transformational change in nearly 74,000 schools nationwide, including more than 1,600 schools in Massachusetts. The program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. The ultimate goal is to ensure changes made at school are sustainable, and to provide children with more opportunities to be physically active and choose tasty, nutrient-rich foods at school.

To learn more, visit http://www.FuelUpToPlay60.com.

mather--031-RCastagnaMay 30, 2013 – Superintendent Dr. Carol R. Johnson and students from the Mather Elementary School came together with Newman’s Own Foundation, the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), Project Bread, New England Dairy and Food Council (NEDFC), state officials, and Boston native and former NFL player Jermaine Wiggins to celebrate Boston’s success of Breakfast in the Classroom.

With support from Newman’s Own Foundation, Boston Public Schools has implemented Breakfast in the Classroom in eight  elementary schools this year. As a result, an additional 600 children receive breakfast each day in our schools, a 49 percent increase in participation.

Research shows a range of benefits from offering Breakfast in the Classroom. In addition to fighting hunger, they include improved academic performance, less disruptive student behavior, fewer visits to the school nurse, and increased attendance.

“Ensuring our students are healthy and ready to learn is a top priority in the Boston Public Schools,” said Superintendent Johnson. “We have seen a high level of positive academic and health outcomes especially among low-income students in our schools that have implemented Breakfast in the Classroom.”


To guarantee that all children have a healthy start to their day, Boston Public Schools has made it a priority to improve participation in school breakfast, including the implementation of Universal Free Breakfast for all Boston Public Schools students by Michael R. Peck, Director of BPS Food and Nutrition Services.

“Breakfast in the Classroom is a simple and effective way to help address childhood hunger in this country while also contributing to positive education outcomes,” said Lisa Walker, managing director of Newman’s Own Foundation.  “We salute the city of Boston and its public schools for their commitment to provide all students with the opportunity to start the day with a good breakfast.”

Boston Public Schools plans to continue expanding the program to additional schools in the fall of 2013.



Photos by Robert Castagna.



Students at Boston Public Schools expressed their creativity and feelings about eating a healthy breakfast by participating in the Fuel Up to Play 60 School Breakfast Poster Contest which was held in mid-November.  Entries were judged by principals/headmasters, art teachers, wellness coordinators and others at each school. All first, second and third place winners receive prizes and recognition in their schools.

The Contest was sponsored by the Fuel Up to Play 60, which is a collaboration of the National Dairy Council and the National Football League through a grant for calendar year 2012.  Thirty two Boston schools across the City and all grade levels participate in the grant which is intended to engage students in the habit of eating a healthy breakfast at school.

Students at 32 Boston schools are creatively expressing themselves in a School Breakfast Poster Contest this week (Nov 12-16), using the themes:  “My Favorite Breakfast” or “How I Feel When I Have Had a Really Good Breakfast”.

The Contest is supported through a Fuel Up to Play 60 grant which was awarded to Boston Public Schools to increase student participation in eating healthy breakfasts.  The goal of the Contest is to build interest among students to eat breakfast at school, especially this year, which is the first time that school breakfast is free to all Boston students.

For the Contest, students receive entry forms, color pencils and color markers in their cafeterias to make their posters, any time during the week.  Winning art entries will be awarded gift cards in amounts of $25, $15, and $10.  Additionally, $25 $15 & $10 gift cards will be randomly awarded to students from all entries at each school.  Principals, wellness champions and others in each school are serving as judges.

The School Lunch Boston blog will display the winning entries once the judging is completed!

The Rogers Middle School in Hyde Park launched parfaits this month as part of the Fuel Up to Play 60 breakfast program.  Margaret Palmisano, the Cafeteria Manager, and her entire team have been turning out 100 parfaits every Tuesday and Thursday morning.  Students have a choice of either peach or strawberry combined with low-fat yogurt, blueberries, and cinnamon granola.  So far, the feedback from students has been fantastic; in fact, the student council is planning a series of promotional posters to help publicize this new breakfast option. 

Thanks to the entire Rogers School team for a job well done! 

The McCormack Middle School recently launched “Smoothie Fridays,” where low-fat fruit smoothies are offered as a breakfast choice on Fridays, either in the cafeteria or as a “grab and go” option.  Dale Feeney, the cafeteria manager, along with her entire team, have been mixing up flavors like peach-strawberry and strawberry-banana, which students love.  So far, breakfast participation is up by more than 20% on Fridays as a result!     

This introduction of smoothies is part of Fuel Up to Play 60, a nationwide in-school program which is designed to encourage students to eat nutrient-rich foods and complete 60 minutes of physical activity daily. The program is sponsored by National Dairy Council (NDC) and the National Football League (NFL), in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Boston Public Schools was fortunate to receive a district grant from Fuel Up in early 2011 to help students develop the habit of eating a healthy breakfast, which has been shown to significantly improve academic performance.  Fuel Up to Play 60 is intended to make positive changes in healthy eating and the physical activity environment in schools.  It is designed to increase student participation in breakfast and is a step in the right direction to have focused, engaged and high-achieving students in the classroom.

Our goal for the program in Boston Public Schools is to increase breakfast participation by 20% by the end of the calendar year.  The Fuel Up to Play 60 grant is used for equipment for serving of breakfast in locations in addition to the cafeteria, such as “Breakfast in the Classroom” and “Grab ‘n Go” breakfast for students to take to their first classroom.  This flexibility in the way breakfast is served means that more students have access to breakfast. 

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