MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The Miami Dolphins in partnership with the Dairy Council of Florida and Fuel Up to Play60 surprised the students of McNicol Middle School in Broward County with a $10,000 grant as part of the partnership's continued commitment towards supporting youth health and wellness through the Hometown Grants Program on Friday, Nov. 19.
"We are so excited to partner with McNicol Middle School and the Miami Dolphins to teach children the importance of not only getting in 60 minutes of physical activity per day but also fueling their bodies the right way, including dairy," Dairy Counil of Florida Director of Youth Wellness Teresa Moran-Wiebe said. "Implementing change now will help students make healthier choices in the future."
Joined by the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders, the school hosted a pep rally for the students in celebration with music and games. As recipients of the Hometown Grant Program, McNicol Middle School will allocate the funds towards the purchase of new physical education equipment for the school as well as a grab and go cart for the cafeteria to house fruits, vegetables and dairy options for the students during lunch. This is the eighth year the organization has partnered with the Dairy Council of Florida through the Hometown Grants program to facilitate sustainable physical activity and healthy eating habits in South Florida.
"We are excited to partner with the Dairy Council of Florida in our continued efforts to impact the health and wellbeing of the students in our community through the Hometown Grants Program," Miami Dolphins Senior Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs Jason Jenkins said. "By providing South Florida schools with proper equipment, we look to give students the resources they need to learn, play and fuel their body in the best environment."
In addition to receiving this year's grant, McNicol Middle School also made a commitment to actively participate in Fuel Up to Play 60, a nutrition and physical activity program that empowers youth to take action for their own health by implementing long-term, positive changes for themselves and their school.
"We are honored and grateful to be the first school in our District to receive this grant award," said McNicol Middle School Principal Deirdre Benka-Coker. "These funds will support our common goals of promoting healthy, active lifestyles and food choices for our students. The physical education and food cart items will benefit our school community for years to come."
Developed by the NFL and Fuel Up to Play 60 in 2014, the initiative provides grants to support physical activity and nutrition programs in school districts in all 32 NFL markets. Through the Hometown Grants program, NFL teams and state/regional dairy organizations identify deserving schools in their communities to receive funding to help facilitate sustainable physical activity and healthy eating programs for students. Since 2014, the program has provided thousands of schools nationwide with funds and resources, resulting in more than one million students staying physically active and making healthier food choices.