BALTIMORE, Md., — Reducing sedentary behavior and increasing physical activity is key to immediate and long-term health for children. That is why the American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, the National Football League (NFL) and Baltimore Ravens have awarded a $1,500 Get Moving Grant to Middlesex Elementary School in Baltimore County.

Students at Middlesex Elementary moved along with the Ravens exercise video which is a part of the NFL PLAY 60 exercise library. The library features team created, family-friendly exercises to help kids get their recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity.

The video features about two dozen Middlesex Elementary students who participated in the NFL Play 60 program earlier in the school year, exercising to “Seven Nation Army,” by White Stripes, a popular song played at Ravens’ games to fire up the crowd.

“Exercise keeps you focused. No matter what we’re doing, we’re always pushing to keep our kids active because everyone has been at home and on our devices for so long,” said David Frank, Community School Facilitator at Middlesex Elementary. “Anything we can do to keep the kids active and get them excited about moving around, we push for it.”

Frank said Middlesex Elementary hasn’t decided what they’ll use the grant money for just yet, but are looking into additional resources for students to use outdoors.

“Kids need fresh air more than they need anything, so we’re going to try to get something we can use for all grade levels to keep them moving, keep them outside and keep them excited about exercise,” he said.

The Get Moving Grant application process invited schools to re-create their version of their hometown team’s exercise video demonstrating school and Ravens’ pride paired with an excitement for physical activity. Schools posted their videos to social media from November 2021- January 2022 to officially enter the grant process. Videos were reviewed by a panel and one school per NFL market for a total of 32 schools nationwide, received a grant for physical activity equipment. 

“The Ravens are strong supporters of the NFL’s PLAY 60 program and we are incredibly proud of Middlesex Elementary’s dedication to being healthy,” said Baker Koppleman, the Senior Vice President, Ticket Sales and Operations, for the Baltimore Ravens and a member of the American Heart Association of Baltimore & Greater Maryland’s Board of Directors.

Of the 32 schools one school will be named the national winner receiving an additional $1,500 for physical activity equipment which will be announced in the Super Bowl Brain Break broadcast taking place on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. Celebrating the program’s 15th year, the Brain Break will host an action packed, 15-minute synchronous broadcast to help students add movement to their day. Advanced registration is required to access the NFL PLAY 60 Brain Break broadcast.

Rooted in science, NFL PLAY 60, helps children to develop healthy habits for a better chance of a healthy adulthood. The program encourages kids to get a minimum of 60 minutes of vigorous physical activity each day to meet the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

The NFL and the American Heart Association have teamed up since 2006 to inspire kids through a fun and engaging way to get physically active. The impact of physical activity on overall mental and physical wellness are essential to help children grow to reach their full potential. Information on the grant process and additional NFL PLAY 60 resources can be found online at heart.org/NFLPLAY60

###

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.  

About NFL PLAY 60

NFL PLAY 60 is the League’s national youth health and wellness campaign to encourage kids to get physically active for at least 60 minutes a day. Since PLAY 60 launched in 2007, the NFL has committed more than $352 million to youth health and fitness through PLAY 60 programming, grants and media time for public service announcements. Over the past decade, the NFL has partnered with leading academic, scientific and nonprofit organizations to help children of all abilities lead healthier, active lives. The NFL and its clubs have supported programs in over 73,000 schools and constructed more than 265 youth fitness zones nationwide—giving more than 38 million children an opportunity to boost their physical activity levels. NFL PLAY 60 is also implemented locally, as part of the NFL’s in-school, after-school and team-based programs. For more information, visit NFL.com/PLAY60.

Help us Continue to tell OUR Story and join the AFRO family as a member – subscribers are now members!  Join here!