COCOA BEACH, Florida – Michelle Sirounis from Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School in Cocoa Beach, Fla., has been named Florida’s Program Advisor of the Year for her active leadership role with the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, which encourages students to develop healthy lifestyle habits.
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program developed by the National Dairy Council, the Dairy Council of Florida and the National Football League (NFL), in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). More than 70,000 schools nationwide are involved in Fuel Up to Play 60. In Florida, more than 3,100 schools participate.
Through the efforts of program advisors like Sirounis, schools across the country encourage youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy foods, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
“It is inspiring to be a part of a program that has truly made a difference in the lives of so many children,” says Sirounis. “I love the program’s focus on teaching children the values of taking care of our bodies, implementing healthier diet regimes, and staying physically active through creative avenues. “
She adds, “Our future lies in the hands of our children, and if we want our nation to continue to thrive, we need to become a healthier society. Our children are our greatest asset, and if we don’t fight to teach them the value in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, we may be selling them and our future short.”
Since the program’s inception, participating schools have received more than $1.8 million in funds and rewards to help increase access to nutrient-rich foods and physical activity. More than 5,000 adults in Florida are enrolled in the program to date.
“We’re excited to recognize the leadership of Michelle Sirounis. She has truly stepped up to the plate to lead the charge against childhood obesity. Dedicated advocates such as Michelle are key to successful implementation of this program,” says Jennifer W. Sills, MPH, RD, LD/N, SNS, director of dairy health and wellness at the Dairy Council of Florida.
In addition to engaging and empowering students to get involved in Fuel Up to Play 60, program advisors help their schools and students earn recognition, rewards and funding to support wellness initiatives in their schools. Any adult enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60 can become a program advisor. To learn more about Fuel Up to Play 60 program advisors visit http://school.fueluptoplay60.com/welcome/program-advisor.php).
About Fuel Up to Play 60
Launched by the National Dairy Council (NDC) and NFL, with additional partnership support from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
About Dairy Council of Florida
The Dairy Council of Florida works with schools, health professionals and allied partners to build a positive health and wellness environment for dairy as a nutrient-rich food. The Dairy Council is one of 18 member organizations of the United Dairy Industry Association and carries out the programs of Dairy Management Inc., the umbrella organization based in Chicago. For more information, call 800-516-4443 or visit www.floridamilk.com.