The Fuel Up to Play 60 program combines the excitement of
the NFL with challenges, prizes and awards to inspire kids to be active and eat
healthy foods. This was quite obvious when I recently visited the Kinzie
Elementary School in Chicago on the day when Corey Wootton, No. 98, defensive
end for the Chicago Bears, was there as part of this program.
As the children filed into the gym and found their places to
sit, their enthusiasm and excitement was contagious as they somewhat patiently
waited to greet Wootton. It only took the slightest movement of the door opening
for the students’ cheers to signal what was about to happen.
I talked to Dawn Orlando, the principal of the school, and
she said the students had been preparing for this day for quite some time. When
they received their Fuel Up to Play 60 T-shirts the day before the event, the
level of excitement was raised to an even higher level.
The Fuel Up to Play 60 program was created through a
partnership with the NFL and the National Dairy Council. The Quaker Oats Co. has
joined to support the Make Your Move campaign.
Wootton introduced a new video to the students that includes
several NFL players doing their special dance moves. In addition to Wootton, the
video features Alfred Morris of the Washington Redskins, Steve Smith and Luke
Kuechly of the Carolina Panthers.
Then it was the students’ turn. The students preformed the
dance they created to enter the Make Your Move Video contest, and then they
taught Wootton their dance moves.
The Make Your Move contest ran through November and schools
had the opportunity to win NFL prizes. In addition, the Quaker and Fuel Up to
Play 60 Make Your Move Video Contest awarded five $15,000 grants and 10 $2,500
“Along with being active, you also need to eat a good
balance of food,” Wootton told the students. “If I don’t eat well, it’s going to
affect my performance. So you always have to eat well and stay active.”
The Chicago Bear said he likes to dance and work out.
“Good habits form at your age,” he told the students. “My
favorite dance move is the robot — that’s my go-to move.”
Taylor Healy is a seventh-grader at Kinzie and she is the
Illinois Fuel Up to Play 60 student ambassador.
“Our program adviser, Mr. Silva, encouraged me to apply to
be the state ambassador and he said it would be a really good experience,”
“I wrote an essay about what I do to stay active and my
favorite healthy foods, and they picked me,” said Taylor, who will serve as the
state ambassador during this school year. “I was so excited when they told me I
Taylor already has participated in several events as the
state ambassador including the opportunity to introduce Wootton to her
“It’s been a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed this event,”
This was a really great event, and I applaud the NFL and its
players for their commitment to children and the importance of helping kids
increase their activity level while eating healthy foods. It is wonderful to see
these men take the time to work with kids and use their popularity for
encouragement and positive influences.