Ask any student.
Blender bikes enable kids to do just that, and they are among the many healthy items coming to local schools, thanks to a new round of grants—totaling $45,600—awarded to local schools by the Florida Dairy Council’s Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60) program.
The program, founded by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League (NFL), supports school activities designed to encourage students to eat more nutritious foods and exercise at least 60 minutes a day, all in an effort to decrease child obesity.
As part of the program, schools are invited to apply for grant funding for programs and activities that encourage healthy eating and physical activity.
All schools in the Winter Park Consortium—Winter Park High School and the Winter Park Ninth Grade Center and their 10 elementary and middle feeder schools—were approved for the new grants. Healthy School Team leaders at each of these schools applied for them.
Here is a sampling of the additions made possible by the grants:
• Winter Park High School received funds to purchase bicycles for the launch of a bike share program
• Brookshire Elementary School also will buy bicycles so they can be used for bicycle safety programs
• Hungerford Elementary School will be purchasing team sports equipment as well as a blender bike with some of its funding
• Lakemont Elementary School has plans to purchase yoga mats as well as a refrigerated cart to distribute healthy snacks to students
• The Winter Park Ninth Grade Center plans to purchase corn hole games, tether ball equipment and stationary bikes to be used by students for brain breaks, and
• Many of the schools plan to use grant funds to purchase digital signs that can be placed in the cafeteria. They’ll be programmed to post healthy messages, some of which will be produced by students.
Last year, the same schools received a total of about $48,000 in FUTP60 funds. They were able to capture a second year of grants—in spite of the intensifying competition for them—because of their success in implementing healthy programs last year, according to Melodie Griffin, independent consultant for the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) who acts as coordinator for the Healthy School Team Leaders.