Pine Tree Elementary Celebrates Fuel Up to Play 60 Success with Special Visit from Detroit Lions Running Back Joique Bell
“Pine Tree Strong” could be heard bouncing off the walls as Detroit Lions running back Joique Bell entered the gym. Mouths dropped open and huge grins ensued. This glimpse into Pine Tree Elementary’s morning was a moment our students will never forget and aided in our building’s “strong of mind, strong of body, and strong of character” health focus.
Our school, Pine Tree Elementary, has been working very hard over the past several years to create a healthy environment for our students and families. Last year, we officially began our Health and Wellness Initiative. The United Dairy Industry of Michigan and the Fuel Up to Play 60 program have been helpful in putting our plans into action.
Every day, as a part of our initiative, the students begin their day doing building-wide exercises, have PE and incorporate classroom brain breaks. We have also created taste tests where students can try new fruits and vegetables and vote on their favorites. A school-wide favorite is, of course, smoothie day. Students experiment with milk, yogurt, fruits and vegetables to create delicious smoothies.
But today was the most thrilling thing to happen to Pine Tree, yet! The students could tell when walking into the gym that something was different. There was a special excitement in the air. It was exhilarating enough to have the Fuel Up to Play 60 banners decorating our gym, members from the United Dairy Industry of Michigan in our building and film crews recording our Fun Friday Dance Party, but to have an NFL football player walk in to dance with us was over the top.
We were so lucky and fortunate to be chosen as one of five schools nationwide to be filmed for a promo that would air during halftime of an NFL game. The entire school was doing our own fitness version of “Whip and Nae Nae” when, much to our shock, Joique Bell entered and began to dance with us! The 460 students and staff had the opportunity to show off and teach Joique all the moves.
After school, 30 lucky students were able to run drills with Joique. He was phenomenal, teaching the students the correct way to stand (arms with proper foot forward). Balls flew and cheers erupted as the students caught ball after ball. Joique even taught the students his touchdown dance! He not only taught them the proper techniques, but encouraged their love of exercise.
Later, 10 students helped Joique make healthy, dairy-rich smoothies with fresh fruit and vegetables. The students “didn’t mind” the kale but “loved” the yogurt and milk. The highlight was when Joique took the lid off the blender before he shut it off and the smoothie shot all over. The students were able to try all of the smoothie varieties while Joique took a huge gulp right out of the blender!
Having Fuel Up to Play 60 and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan visit will be a highlight of all these students’ elementary years. Who wouldn’t like being on National TV with a football star? The energy created will fuel our Health and Wellness initiative for years to come!
About Pine Tree Elementary and our Guest Bloggers:
Jennifer Heck, Pam Moreman and Amanda Kulik, Pine Tree Elementary School Kindergarten, 5th grade, and 3rd grade teachers, respectively
Pine Tree Elementary School, located in Lake Orion, MI was recently recognized as a Michigan school actively participating in the Fuel Up to Play 60 Program. Created by the National Dairy Council and National Football League (NFL), this program empowers kids to eat healthy, get active and make positive, healthy changes for themselves and their schools. At Pine Tree Elementary School, students had the opportunity to participate in a variety of healthy eating and physical activity plays. From taste testing new foods during a March Madness Taste Test Bracket event to daily in-class brain breaks, students were able to get active and fuel up in fun and inspiring ways. To learn more about the Fuel Up to Play 60 program or to learn how your school can get involved, please visit fueluptoplay60.com.