Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Students Can Rock Their Food and Fitness Worlds

How do you more than double breakfast participation in an at-risk middle school? How do you get vulnerable middle school kids participating in before- and after-school activity programs? At Arlington Middle School in Lawrence, Massachusetts, the answer has been impressively simple: Put the kids in charge. With strong support from administration and school foodservice, a dedicated group of 12 middle school students (and their PE teacher/advisor) have implemented an incredibly successful Fuel Up To Play 60 program.

I've talked about FUTP60 here before for three important reasons:
  • FUTP60 focuses on student led changes: This is a different model than most school health improvements where adult staff (and sometimes parents) decide what is right for kids.
  • FUTP60 combines positive nutrition and fun activity: Kids want to know what to eat (rather than what to avoid) and they want to have fun moving in a non-threatening environment.
  • FUTP60 has a strong support system: As partnership of National Dairy Council and the NFL, FUTP60 brings both solid health education techniques and star power to local schools.
Over the next few days I'm going to explore FUTP60 - using the Lawrence example - in more detail. That's because these reasons are fundamental in figuring out how we are going to solve the weight, nutrition, and health problems facing our youth today.

The Lawrence middle school students pictured here really do hold the keys to a healthy future in their hands.



  1. This is excellent! I currently work for UMass Extension and am familiar with the wonderful work going on in the public schools in MA. Thanks for sharing the FUTP60 info - the dairy council is doing an excellent job w/ this!

  2. Very interesting! Can't wait to read more!