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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.