For some lucky 6th grade students from the Springfield Township School in Jobstown, New Jersey eating well resulted in more than just a healthy body and mind this past Sunday. Springfield's commitment to serving nutritious food won them a once in a lifetime VIP experience with the New York Jets.
The students accompanied by school representatives and Charles Kuperus, Secretary of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, enjoyed the game from some of the best seats in the house and were honored on the field between the 3rd and 4th quarters of the game.
This opportunity is part of the Eat Right, Move More campaign that the Jets recently launched in conjunction with the State of New Jersey to encourage New Jersey school children to take advantage of healthy foods in their school cafeterias and become more active.
"Winning the contest and being selected to go to the game is a big boost for a little school that will likely energize the students for good nutrition," said Lori Nelson, Springfield Township Schools Food Service Director.
Springfield Township School teacher Jared Fudurich, a life-long Jets fan, read about the contest online and orchestrated the application process.
"While the school is in Philadelphia Eagles country, the National Football League still generates a lot of excitement," said Fudurich. "Sports figures are icons and the on-field experience and looking forward to a Jets school visit means so much to the kids."
"It was great to have this opportunity since it's not common for me to win," said Reed Quinerly, a sixth grade student. "If you want to be active, you need to eat healthy foods rather than junk foods and I will try to encourage other kids at school to eat healthier."
"The Springfield Township school district has placed great importance on creatively meeting the Department's new nutrition guidelines and teaching students about healthy lifestyles," said Secretary Kuperus. "We appreciate the New York Jets help in recognizing Springfield and other schools for their efforts to improve nutrition and increase activity."
Just last month, Jets tackle D'Brickawshaw Ferguson and New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine launched the program at a press conference at the Columbus Elementary School in Lodi, New Jersey. At the time, D'Brick who is 6'6 and 312 lbs told the students, "I know firsthand that eating right and exercising regularly are crucial, not only for those of us who grow up to become professional athletes, but for all kids."
The campaign features posters of Ferguson in every school across the state of New Jersey telling students, "When I have a healthy meal, it helps me play my best. Your school cafeteria has a variety of nutritious foods to keep you going all day long. So get up, eat right and move more!"
The campaign also challenges schools to submit their meal menus to determine the five schools with the most creative meal selections and that have made the most significant changes to improve their school nutrition environment. Each of those five schools will receive a visit from a Jets player in Spring '07 and Springfield was randomly selected from those five schools to be honored at this weekend's game against the Buffalo Bills.
This year's other winning schools included: Brielle Elementary School in Brielle, Coles Elementary School in Scotch Plains, Heywood Avenue School in Orange and Sandman Consolidated School in Cape May.
Congratulations to all five winners!