Devin McCourty & Clough Fuel Up to Play 60!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 5 Comments A + a -

Patriots All-Pro Safety Devin McCourty
high fives all 464 Clough students!
We learn some of our habits at a very early age.  That simple fact is the premise of a 6-year old joint venture from the National Dairy Council and the NFL, Fuel Up to Play 60.  The program aims to promote students to take charge in making small, everyday changes at both home and school.  The changes are in the areas of healthy food choices and getting exercise, specifically committing to being physically active for at least 60 minutes everyday.

The longitudinal research throughout many years has been very clear:  poor nutrition and lack of physical activity are not only root causes of overweight and obesity, they are also factors associated with lower academic achievement.  Thus, it is paramount that we find new, tangible ways to instill healthy eating and exercise habits not only into our wellness curriculum but also our everyday operations.

With this program in mind, the wellness team at Clough- school nurse Tara Bellefontaine, PE teacher Dan Hayes, and cafeteria manager Mary Lee Siple, last year decided to enroll Clough in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.  It started with a modest 90 students taking the FUP60 Pledge and based upon that success, they decided to pursue grant funding from the program, seeking the maximum amount, $4000 from their "Playbook" program, where schools must commit to one new nutrition initiative and one new physical activity.  In late summer, they got word that not only was their grant application fully funded, but a New England Patriot would be at the school in September for a kick-off event! Clough was 1 of 5 schools in the nation to win this wonderful prize thanks to our students' hard work in submitting their pictures for a the Scavenger Hunt challenge (part of the grant application). Significantly, the $4000 grant will be used for a new salad bar, new, innovative gym equipment, and kick off material to support the program.

The Patriot that visited Clough today was Patriots all-pro safety Devin McCourty.  He was an absolute delight, as he shared some fun and inspirational thoughts about his life as a Patriot, his workouts, and nutrition.  He took all types of questions, from ,"What do you eat on game days?" (A really big breakfast of eggs, bacon, and French toast.) to, "What was your favorite game as a Patriot?" (It's a tie:  when we beat the Lions on Thanksgiving and everyone was watching us as they ate their turkey and the AFC Championship game a couple of years ago... and when we beat the Ravens to get to Super Bowl we just got to win the next one!) to even, "Do you do ballet?"(I'd like to say that I have.... but, umm... no.)

A couple of final thoughts.  First, many thanks to Dan, Tara, and Mary Lee for securing the grant and putting all of this together.  You did an OUTSTANDING job and I am very proud of your efforts.  It was a terrific day for our children at Clough.

Second, it certainly was apropos when Dan introduced Devin and he told the students about his versatility and flexibility, citing how in the past, Devin's role on the Patriots was changed (from his natural position, a safety, to cornerback) for the good of the team.  Dan stated that Devin understands how important teamwork truly is, much like the "1 Team, 1 Goal, No Limits" core value at Clough.  Devin's comments played off of Dan's fine introduction and it was very apparent that he is a warm, genuine man.  It was also evident in the sincere way that he connected with our kids.

Thus... I know that many of you, like me, are die-hard Patriots fans.  Based upon my experience today, I would urge you to root even harder for Devin McCourty.  In my opinion, this fine young man is the real deal... as he is not only athletically gifted but he is also rich in character.  He deserves all the success he will no doubt earn in his promising career.

PE Teacher Dan Hayes introduces Devin McCourty during
today's assembly.  Also on stage is Clough nurse Tara Bellefontaine

A hallmark of the National Dairy Council, Devin proudly
wears his milk mustache in front of Clough!


Write comments
September 17, 2013 at 9:42 PM delete

Nice event, nice write up! What do you use to make your gifs?

September 17, 2013 at 10:40 PM delete

I know there's some programs out there, Alice... but this was created using a feature on a digital camera!

September 18, 2013 at 8:11 AM delete

My boys loved this visit and had me create their accounts last night!! We packed carrots and apples for school snack today. Garrett ate every piece of his dinner last night too!!

September 18, 2013 at 8:17 AM delete

Inspired, thanks... :)

September 18, 2013 at 6:15 PM delete

Devin is such a wonderful ambassador for education. He came to my school in Cranston, RI last spring and was so delightful!