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This Sunday, 12 lucky students will receive their reward for exemplifying the Play 60 commitment to wellness with tickets to the Tennessee Titans home football game against the Oakland Raiders. They will also receive recognition before the game.
In 2007, the Franklin Special School District began a relationship with the Tennessee Titans through the NFL Play 60 program. The program champions national youth health and focuses on increasing the wellness of America’s youngsters by encouraging them to be active for at least 60 minutes a day.
The schools and their students have been rewarded over the years for their participation in the program with player visits. But this year, the students will be the ones visiting the players on their own turf.
Six years ago, grant money provided by NFL Play 60 enabled the district to purchase the FitnessGram program, a bi-annual student fitness evaluation which includes a variety of health-related physical fitness tests used to determine students’ overall physical fitness and suggests areas for improvement when appropriate.
All FSSD schools participate in the NFL Play 60 FitnessGram Project. Some also participate in other Play 60 programs, such as Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Fuel Up to Play 60, Play 60 Challenge and NFL Punt, Pass and Kick.
“The relationship we have with the NFL through the Tennessee Titans has been extremely beneficial,” Moore Elementary physical education teacher Kathy Clark said.
Clark is a NFL Play 60 FitnessGram Champion, one of 32 educators across the nation who are leaders in improving and promoting student fitness with the FitnessGram program.
“We live in the healthiest county in Tennessee and our students and families are really motivated by the incentives that the NFL Play 60 program provides,” she said.
On the Titans’ end, the partnership is one that the organization values, according to Josh Corey, the Titans’ youth and high school football coordinator.
“The Tennessee Titans are proud to support and recognize the efforts of students and educators across Tennessee who actively participate in PLAY 60 program opportunities,” Corey said. “FSSD does an outstanding job of facilitating the FitnessGram program and utilizing its resources to provide students with meaningful instructional opportunities about the benefits of daily physical activity and making healthy lifestyle choices.”
According to Clark, the FitnessGram student scores are not compared to classmates, but are compared to Healthy Fitness Zone® standards, criterion-referenced standards that are based on levels of fitness needed for good health.
“We are so thankful that our district dedicates 30 minutes every day to physical education in grades K-4,” Clark said. “When you add recess, FSSD elementary students receive 60 minutes of physical activity each day during the school day. In addition, most of our schools also offer before and/or after school opportunities for physical activity. The emphasis on educating the whole child is a mindful approach that the FSSD employs and one that districts across the state come to see in action every year during our annual ‘demonstration days.’”