Rahway School Has Best Nutrition Program In NJ

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 left to right:  Mark Vidivich, President Pomptonian Food Service; Cindy Sue Schaller, Pomptonian; Kenisha Hodge, Rahway Schools Foodservice Director; Peter Casteneda, Roosevelt School physical education teacher; Secretary Fisher; Nick Folk; and Rocco Collucci, Roosevelt School Principal.

left to right: Mark Vidivich, President Pomptonian Food Service; Cindy Sue Schaller, Pomptonian; Kenisha Hodge, Rahway Schools Foodservice Director; Peter Casteneda, Roosevelt School physical education teacher; Secretary Fisher; Nick Folk; and Rocco Collucci, Roosevelt School Principal. (NJ Dept. of Agriculture photo)

RAHWAY  – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher and New York Jets kicker Nick Folk honored Roosevelt Elementary School in Rahway on Tuesday as this year’s grand prize winner in the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Jets Play 60 “Eat Right, Move More” program.

The Jets and Folk treated the third through sixth-grade students at the school to a fun program and presented the school with a $5,000 prize for a kitchen makeover, made possible by the Jets and American Dairy Association & Dairy Council. In addition, eight students and staff will be recognized on field at the Jets home game versus the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 8.

“Roosevelt Elementary School officials have actively engage students in living healthier lives by offering a variety of fruits and vegetables daily, serving locally-source produce and promoting physical activity,” said Fisher. “They have consistently gone over and above the federal and state standards and we are proud to honor their achievement through this program.”

The Play 60 Eat Right, Move More program, a partnership between the Jets, the Department of Agriculture and the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council, encourages New Jersey school children to take advantage of healthy foods in their school cafeterias and become more active.

This year, there was an emphasis on selecting schools that offer breakfast in the classroom. Additionally, school lunch and breakfast menus were reviewed and the schools had to show strong support and demonstrate efforts to improve nutrition and physical activity among their students. The winning school is required to participate in the Jets Play 60 Challenge, where at least 100 students must commit to log 60 minutes of physical activity every day for four weeks.

“A good breakfast is such an important way to start each day so I think it was a great focus for this year’s Eat Right, Move More program,” said Folk. “Coming to Roosevelt Elementary today to celebrate this school’s commitment to health and wellness is a real honor for me.”

Rahway School Foodservice Director Kenisha Hodge of Pomptonian Food Service said Roosevelt Elementary School provides a “farm stand” concept where students may choose from a colorful array of fresh vegetables daily.

The school also participates in the CATCH U Program (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) through a partnership with the Rahway/Union County YMCA. The main focus is to inform and support our community efforts in combating childhood obesity through awareness and participation in physical activity and physical fitness. Furthermore, our students also participate in the Fitnessgram which is a comprehensive health fitness and activity assessment. Nutrition Education is also covered as part of our school Health Curriculum.

“Roosevelt Elementary School has been conscientiously striving towards increasing the healthy choices that embodies nutrition and exercise,” said Hodge. “Winning the “Eat Right, Move More” grant moves us closer to changing our school and community culture of wellness education and practices.”

Hodge said half the grant money will be used to modify the serving line to better showcase fresh produce choices daily. According to the grant criteria, the other half must be used toward the purchase of physical education equipment.

As the grand prize winner, Roosevelt must participate in the Play 60 Challenge, which requires at least 100 students commit to log 60 minutes of physical activity every day for four weeks.

Fisher also announced the 10 finalist schools, which will compete to be among four additional prize winners chosen based on their performance in the Jets Play 60 Challenge. The finalist schools are: Atlantic County Special Services Middle School in Mays Landing; Egg Harbor City Community School in Egg Harbor; Roosevelt School #7 in Garfield; High Tech High School in North Bergen; Samsel Upper Elementary School in Sayreville; Whiting Elementary School in Manchester Township; Clifton Avenue Grade School in Lakewood; Pines Lake Elementary School in Wayne; and Queen City Academy Charter School in Plainfield. The winners will be announced at a later date.

As a professional football team that plays in New Jersey, the Jets regularly promote youth health, fitness, and education, particularly in disadvantaged communities.


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