NFL-sponsored health program honors Milford High School staffBy NANCY BEAN FOSTER
Union Leader Correspondent
May 23. 2013 7:55PM
MILFORD — Milford High School students got a visit from former Patriots tight end Jermaine Wiggins on Thursday in honor of their efforts to eat healthy and increase their physical activity through the ‘Fuel Up to Play 60’ program.
During a school-wide assembly on Thursday morning, school nutrition manager Maryanne Gallagher, nurse Mary Arrowsmith, and physical education teacher Jean-Guy Letarte were honored as New Hampshire’s ‘Fuel Up to Play 60’ Program Advisors of the Year.
‘Fuel Up to Play 60’ is a program launched by National Dairy Council and National Football League, in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture to promote better nutrition and physical activity in schools.
Gallagher, Arrowsmith and Letarte were commended for the leadership roles they’ve taken in helping to improve health and wellness at the school.
“They’ve really helped our school make improvements in terms of healthy eating and physical activity,” said Milford High School principal Brad Craven.
But Craven also credited the kids who “got this whole thing launched.”
The student-driven program encourages kids to eat well and get at least 60 minutes of exercise every day.
At the high school level, student Dina Pitsas has taken the lead to push ‘Fuel Up to Play 60,’ Brad Craven said.
At Milford Middle School, student Lily Ayotte has taken the reins, scoring a $4,000 grant from ‘Play 60’ to create an afterschool cooking class. Ayotte was on hand during the high school event to celebrate her successful initiative.
Wiggins, who was a member of the Patriots’ championship team in Super Bowl XXXVI, was on hand to congratulate Milford on the achievements they’ve made, while urging everyone to be active even if they’re not athletic.
“Get off the couch and get outside,” he said. “Leave the video games for us old guys.”
Though the focus of ‘Fuel Up to Play 60’ is nutrition and physical activity, Wiggins told the nearly 900 students assembled that making good choices and being productive lays a strong foundation for the future.
“You’re all being productive, being positive, and doing things in your high school career that will benefit you down the road,” he said. “I saw a lot of kids growing up who weren’t productive growing up and they ended up on the wrong side of the law. By being productive, you guys are doing the right thing.”