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AISD Awarded Funds for Wellness Program

Austin, TX—Austin Independent School District's elementary schools were selected from among hundreds of schools across the country to receive $320,000 from Dairy MAX, a division of the National Dairy Council.

Each AISD elementary school will receive $4,000 to expand the Active Play Project, which uses playground stencils featuring nutrition messages to encourage physical activity. In addition, the funds and Active Play Project support the district's Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative, a partnership between the National Dairy Council and National Football League, which increases awareness and access to nutrient-rich foods and physical activity opportunities.

In 2011, the Active Play Project was initiated at four AISD elementary schools through initial funding from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. Through the project, students can engage both physically and mentally with the playground stencils, which feature messaging about fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein and low fat dairy foods.

"By teaming up with Fuel Up to Play 60, all of our elementary students can learn academics through movement. The stencils encourage students to think and be active, by using the stencils to spell and jump," Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said. "We know that students have a greater chance of building life-long habits when they start building the habits at an early age."

More than 70,000 schools across the United States are participating in Fuel Up to Play 60. Launched by the National Dairy Council, local Dairy Councils and the National Football League, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and complete at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Multiple health organizations and several major corporations also are supporting Fuel Up to Play 60, which is in its third year.

"Fuel Up to Play 60 has really taken off in Texas," Dairy Max Program Coordinator Lisa Losasso said. "Wellness champions and students in more than 7,000 schools have embraced the program and the funds will help AISD build and sustain an already successful program."

To learn more about Fuel Up to Play 60, please visit www.fueluptoplay60.com.