(Nashua, NH) – The New England Patriots Foundation and New England dairy farmers showed their continuing commitment to student health and wellness by awarding Ledge Street Elementary School with a $10,000 Hometown Grant. The funds from this 2020 grant have been used to purchase equipment that enhances, facilitates, and fulfils sustainable physical activity and healthy eating changes for the students.
The nearly 500 students of Ledge Street Elementary returned to an in-person learning model in April of 2021 and specifically designed the plan for their health and wellness bags to focus on equipment that could be used for in-person or remote learning. The resource bags include mixing bowls, measuring cups, spatulas, jump ropes, bean bags, safety essentials, and more. The bags were distributed to students and families on May 5th.
"We are excited to once again partner with New England Dairy to promote the importance of student health and wellness," said Josh Kraft, president of the Patriots Foundation and Kraft Family Philanthropies. "With this Hometown Grant, we knew we had to find ways to support schools with both in-person and virtual learning. With the creative support of New England Dairy and the staff at Ledge Street Elementary, nearly 500 students have the proper tools to focus on their health, both at home and in the classroom."
New England dairy farmers are an integral part of the Hometown Grant due to their support of Fuel Up to Play 60, the nation's largest in-school wellness program which encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and to achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. The program is supported by the dairy farm families of New Hampshire and the region. New England dairy farmers partner with the Patriots on this initiative.
"The New England Patriots have been our partners on Fuel Up to Play 60 for more than a decade. As a local dairy farmer and member of the community, we strive to create meaningful partnerships to benefit the places we live and work," said Charlie Tully of Tully Farm. "The kids of Ledge Street Elementary and the students across New England are the next generation. We're proud to support them and provide important tools for their success."
In addition to the physical materials included in the resource bags, the New England Patriots Foundation and New England Dairy created pre-recorded videos to engage students during the school day. The videos are interactive, encouraging movement, important in keeping students focused and ready to learn. Teachers are incorporating these videos, which focus on healthy eating and physical activity, into their daily lesson plans.
"Healthy and active students are healthy and active learners," said Garth J McKinney, Superintendent of the Nashua School District. "Thank you to the New England Patriots and all of the dairy farm families of New Hampshire and New England for their generous support. We greatly appreciate the grant to build upon our focus on physical activity and healthy eating habits at Ledge Street Elementary School."
As more schools begin to reopen, the hybrid model presents new challenges to educators who must now teach and engage students in classrooms and at home. Ledge Street Elementary is currently operating near 30 percent remote and 70 percent in-school.
The intent of the 2020 Hometown Grant was to ensure all students have equal access to the healthy eating and physical education equipment they need, no matter their learning location. The healthy eating resources included in the bags are geared towards educating parents, guardians, and students on nutrition, smart-eating, and its impact on success. The physical activity pieces of the grant cover basic physical education equipment for use during in-person and remote instruction.
New England Dairy and New Hampshire dairy farm families have been supporting local schools for more than a century. Dairy farms are the heartbeat of many communities throughout New England, creating jobs, investing in the local economy, and supporting childhood health and education. Milk and other dairy foods can play an important role in overall health and wellness. Eating three daily servings of dairy foods like milk, cheese, or yogurt can help close key nutrient gaps and contribute to nutrient-rich, healthy eating patterns. Milk provides a unique package of nine essential nutrients including calcium, potassium and Vitamin D – a nutritional powerhouse for families and students.
About New England Dairy
New England Dairy (NED) is a non-profit education organization based in Boston that serves as a voice of dairy farmers in New England and Eastern New York. We champion these dairy farm families and the nutritious foods they produce by connecting people to dairy farms, supporting youth wellness in schools, and delivering the latest nutrition and sustainability science to educators, health professionals, scientists, and media. NED is a state and regional affiliate of the National Dairy Council® (NDC).
About Fuel Up to Play 60
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council (NDC) and National Football League (NFL), with additional partnership support from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program 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.
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. Customizable and non-prescriptive program components are grounded in research with youth, including tools and resources, in-school promotional materials, a website and student challenges. Fuel Up to Play 60 is further supported by several health and nutrition organizations: Action for Healthy Kids, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association and School Nutrition Association. Visit FuelUpToPlay60.com to learn more.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).
About NFL PLAY 60
In October of 2007, the NFL launched NFL PLAY 60, a national youth health and fitness campaign focused on increasing the wellness of young fans by encouraging them to be active for at least 60 minutes a day. Over the past decade, the NFL has partnered with leading academic, scientific and nonprofit organizations, including the American Heart Association, National Dairy Council, Special Olympics, Shriners Hospitals for Children, St. Jude, and the United Way, to help children of all abilities lead healthier, active lives. Since the launch of the campaign, the NFL has committed more than $350 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for PSAs; the NFL and its clubs have supported programs in nearly 73,000 schools nationwide, giving more than 38 million children the chance to boost physical activity levels and build a foundation for a healthy lifestyle. The NFL and its partners are committed to continuing the PLAY 60 movement for an active and healthier generation for years to come. For more information, visit nfl.com/PLAY60.
About the New England Patriots Foundation
The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation is the nonprofit organization established by Robert Kraft in 1994 to support charitable and philanthropic agencies throughout New England. The Foundation's primary goal is to support programs that aid the youth and families of the New England region by assisting programs that foster cultural diversity, education, family and health. The Foundation has taken special interest in youth programs that encourage education, creativity and development of character. To learn more, visit www.patriots.com/community.