On the same day the Jets welcomed sixth graders from Chatham and L.C. Johnson Middle Schools to their facility to culminate the team's Play 60 Challenge, the Green & White bestowed Carlstadt Public School as the "Grand Champion" of their Eat Right, Move More program.
The Jets, who were represented at the Challenge by S Rontez Miles, TE Wes Saxton, WRs Chandler Worthy and Quincy Enunwa and ILB Erin Henderson, teamed up with the American Heart Association and Modell's Sporting Goods to battle childhood obesity. Twenty students from Chatham and LC Johnson were selected to go to the Atlantic Health Training Center and participate in football drills as a reward for their hard work throughout the year.
"We have a lot of fun activities going on. The players enjoy it, the kids enjoy it, and it's really about fun competition," said director of community relations Jesse Linder.
The Jets Play 60 Challenge is a six-week program created by the NFL and the American Heart Association to help encourage youth to live healthier lives. The program, which encourages students to participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity in school and an additional 30 minutes of physical activity outside of school, takes direct aim at childhood obesity.
"When they see these players having a great time doing the same activities — it's inspiring," said Jim Presbrey, vice president of youth markets for the AHA.
Enunwa, a Nebraska product who hauled in 22 receptions for the Jets last season, acknowledged the importance of giving back to the community through the program.
"You see childhood obesity a lot. You don't see kids outside like you used to playing around in the streets," he said. "A lot of children are playing video games, so it's good to come out here and play with the kids."
Among children today, obesity is causing a broad range of health problems including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol levels.
"It's for the kids," added Miles. "When I was growing up, we didn't see this stuff every day. So to come out here and see the kids smile, run around and have fun, it means a lot to me."
The event also helped the players let loose and embrace their inner child themselves.
"I've got a little sweat on my forehead," Enunwa said. "I'm running around with them and trying to have just as much fun as they are."
Also on Friday, Carlstadt Public School*was named *"Grand Champion" in the New Jersey Department of Agriculture's Jets PLAY 60 Eat Right, Move More.* *The partnership with the American Dairy Association North East encourages New Jersey children to take advantage of healthy foods in their school cafeterias and become more active through grant incentives and Jets player visits.
Jets kicker Nick Folk, in attendance with NJ Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher, spoke to the young students about the importance of eating healthy and staying active.
"This partnership with the Jets has helped schools do more to provide healthy food choices for students and encourage them to get more exercise," said Secretary Fisher. "We applaud Carlstadt Public School for going that extra mile to ensure the children have access to fresh fruits and vegetables and other nutritious foods as well as opportunities to move more."
Folk and Fisher awarded the school a $15,000 grant to improve school food service and physical education programs. Carlstadt was chosen for their creative efforts to encourage students to eat healthier in a plethora of ways.
"I am so proud of the students, teachers and administration at Carlstadt Public School," said Folk. "They really followed through on the Jets PLAY 60 and I am honored to return to the school to present them with their $15,000 grand prize."