Guest Blog From A Fuel Up To Play 60 Program Advisor
We’re delighted to present this guest post from Cami M., a Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor who brought her Fuel Up to Play 60 students to our SAP Social Innovation Series event in Phoenix, Arizona last fall.
GENYOUth’s flagship program, Fuel Up to Play 60 is the largest in-school nutrition and physical activity program in the country, developed by the National Dairy Council (NDC) and the National Football League (NFL). The program helps schools to meet their wellness goals and encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (low-fat or fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. As a Program Advisor for Fuel Up to Play 60, Cami helps her students lead change in school health and wellness.
Cami was thrilled when her students, Desiree, Tyra and Claudia pitched a yoga and garden focused project to a panel of judges during the 2016 SAP Social Innovation Series in Phoenix, and were awarded $1,000 to bring their idea to life. Cami’s seen her students grow by participating in AdCap. Like every great entrepreneur, they’ve had to adjust their ideas to align better with school and district policies, but they never gave up on their goals and vision.
Their “Namaste, Sunshine” Project has evolved into a working greenhouse, which helps create sustainable, student-led nutrition options for healthy eating, with K-8 classrooms rotating use of the greenhouse. We’re thrilled to see how our AdCap students continue to develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills, embrace adversity, and lead change in their schools. Read on for an update from Cami, who shared feedback on the program and updates on her students’ entrepreneurial efforts and accomplishments with us!
"Namaste, Sunshine"- Project Update and Reflections
I first learned of AdCap at our last Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador Summit in summer 2016 by attending the AdCap workshop for students and Program Advisors. At that point, I knew this was a perfect fit for our FUTP 60 program. With our FUTP 60 program, I started seeing in each of my students strong leadership skills developing. As my FUTP 60 students get older, AdCap is the right transition for them to take the next step to keeping up their excitement of becoming impactful leaders in their school and community.
Our first step was to educate, empower, and engage our school and community on the idea of having a greenhouse. We ran into some issues with our district and could not complete Namaste, Sunshine as it was outlined. My students had to find creative ways to try and implement our Project.
One of the challenges we worked through was that we wanted everything done right away! We had our money in hand and wanted to spend it. We learned patience with getting everyone on board with planning, organizing and executing our Project. There were main items like our aquaponics system, water fountain, lights, fans, any item that had to be plugged in for electricity was not approved to be purchased for our Project, Namaste Sunshine. We had to change up the Project Namaste, Sunshine to make it work for our school and district.
The biggest impact I have seen is that my students are blossoming into young leaders for our school and community. AdCap has been a learning tool by letting our future generation know the best way to shape their future. AdCap has definitely helped and encouraged each of them to achieve greatness.
I asked my students what they thought, and Desiree wanted to tell you she had a lot of fun during the AdCap workshop. She met a bunch of cool people. The website was easy for her to use. Claudia wanted to say that the AdCap workshop was a great experience. She got to meet new people and share her ideas with them. A challenge she faced was talking in front of everyone. She has a fear of speaking in front of crowds or to people but once she got there she realized that it wasn’t just about winning, it’s about trying your best.
My advice for other teachers is to first ask yourself: what do you want to do to help make a difference in your students? This is your opportunity to take your students to the next level, plus have funds to support their inspirational ideas. As a FUTP 60 Program Advisor, I must say AdCap is a perfect fit, not only encouraging young people to organize their own decisions on fitness, health, and innovation but AdCap complements FUTP 60 by helping students take their leadership skills to the next level.
-Cami M., Phoenix, Arizona
Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor for Garden Lakes Elementary