RAHWAY — New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher and New York Jets Kicker Nick Folk honored Roosevelt Elementary School as this year’s grand prize winner in the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Jets Play 60 Eat Right, Move More program.
The Jets and Folk treated the third- through sixth-grade students at the school to a fun program and presented the school with a $5,000 prize for a kitchen makeover, made possible by the Jets and American Dairy Association & Dairy Council. In addition, eight students and staff will be recognized on the field at the Jets home game versus the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
The Play 60 Eat Right, Move More program, a partnership between the Jets, the Department of Agriculture and the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council, encourages New Jersey school children to take advantage of healthy foods in their school cafeterias and become more active.
This year, there was an emphasis on selecting schools that offer breakfast in the classroom. Additionally, school lunch and breakfast menus were reviewed and the schools had to show strong support and demonstrate efforts to improve nutrition and physical activity among their students. The winning school is required to participate in the Jets Play 60 Challenge, where at least 100 students must commit to log 60 minutes of physical activity every day for four weeks.
Rahway School Food Service Director Kenisha Hodge of Pomptonian Food Service said Roosevelt Elementary School provides a “farm stand” concept where students may choose from a colorful array of fresh vegetables daily.
The school also participates in Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH UP) through a partnership with the Rahway/Union County YMCA. The main focus is to support community efforts in combating childhood obesity.
Students also participate in the Fitnessgram, which is a comprehensive health fitness and activity assessment. Nutrition education is also covered as part of the school health curriculum.
Hodge said half the grant money will be used to modify the serving line to better showcase fresh produce choices daily. According to the grant criteria, the other half must be used toward the purchase of physical education equipment.
Fisher also announced the 10 finalist schools, which will compete to be among four additional prize winners chosen based on their performance in the Jets Play 60 Challenge. Among them are Samsel Upper Elementary School in Sayreville and Queen City Academy Charter School in Plainfield.