Last spring, Jets safety Erik Coleman launched the What Moves U campaign at P.S./I.S. 266 in Bellerose, Queens, to promote physical fitness and healthy living to an increasingly inactive generation of children. What Moves U is a national youth movement and awareness campaign sponsored by the National Football League and the American Heart Association.
Since then, Coleman has continued to bring that message to scores of kids throughout New York City and Long Island. Over the past two weeks, he visited children at the School of the Future in Manhattan and Wantagh Middle School on Long Island.
Coleman led the kids through a series of activities and football drills during their gym classes before speaking with the students about the importance of staying active. Coleman also answered their questions about his own favorite activities and handed out gifts to the kids including T-shirts, pencils, stickers and keychains.
"Staying active is a great way to stay healthy," Coleman told them. "It helps you become a stronger person. So go out, play with your friends and have fun because it's going to help you out later in life.
"It gives me great pride to be involved with this campaign," he said. "It is very important to me that our kids know how critical it is for them to get out and play and not sit around all day watching TV or playing video games. It is good to see those kids out here working hard and enjoying it."
The initiative incorporates several key elements:
- An in-school activity kit created for teachers, by teachers, which includes curriculum-based activity sheets, program-specific learning materials and school promotional materials.
- An interactive fitness-focused Website for children.
- A national public awareness campaign that includes television, radio, print and cinema PSAs, and community outreach events sponsored by the New York Jets and the American Heart Association.
Unique to other physical fitness programs for students, the What Moves U in-school activation kit was developed for teachers of various academic disciplines to help them find ways to integrate physical activities into their existing lesson plans.
More than 25,000 middle schools nationwide have received the activation kit, and teachers have the opportunity to download the kit on www.whatmovesu.com.