Today we feature OWG guest blogger, Melodie Griffin, who is dedicated to fighting childhood obesity through her role as a Student Wellness Coordinator with UnitedHealthcare and as the Florida State Coordinator for Action for Healthy Kids. In both roles, she works through schools to encourage students to eat better and move more. All programs Melodie promotes are fully approved by her home based lab rats, five year old son, Howie, and two year old daughter, Hope. You can learn more about Melodie and follow her blog here.
As a student wellness coordinator, I am privileged to work with school employees, parents, and administrators who share my passion for helping students live healthier lives. Even with small (or sometimes nonexistent) budgets and little time, these wellness champions are constantly looking for programs and resources to help educate and inspire their students about the importance of healthy eating and exercise. When quality programming like OWG is identified for a school, the wellness champion will often ask me for suggestions for funding the program. My answer is always the same, “Start with Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60). You’ll love it!” And love it, they do.
Fuel Up to Play 60 has become my go to program for funding and encouraging school based wellness. Funded in partnership by the Dairy Council and the NFL, FUTP60 is a wonderful springboard into wellness programming and funding for schools. A wellness champion, referred to as the program advisor by FUTP60, can apply for up to $4,000 each year for student focused activities and programs focused on healthy eating, physical activity, and wellness promotion. The program is easy to implement, loaded with valuable tools and resources, and most importantly, gets students excited about healthy eating and physical activity.
Because I believe so strongly in the FUTP60 program, including the support it provides for the school based wellness champion and the excitement it creates around student wellness, I have heavily encouraged each school I work with to sign up to be a FUTP60 school and apply for FUTP60 funding. In just two short years, we have gone from no FUTP60 schools to over 35 funded schools! The best part is this…through FUTP60, schools are excited about wellness and making it a priority.
When applying for FUTP60 grants, many wellness champions have numerous ideas focused on physical activity but sometimes struggle for healthy eating programming.Given their time restraints, they look to me for suggestions on easy to implement, evidence-based, student friendly programming. OWG could not be a better fit! Each time I introduce OWG and its programming, the wellness champion simply can’t get enough. They want it all! From the OWG doll to the Foods of the Month Kit, OWG is a perfect fit for healthy eating plays through FUTP60.
If you’re already working with the OWG program but are looking for additional funding, I encourage you to visit the FUTP60 website. Look through the program and see if it’s a match for your school. It may just help you add another OWG doll to your family!
If you are interested in applying for a FUTP60 grant, please note that applications are due on June 4, 2013. Need ideas on how to incorporate OWG into your application? Email [email protected] or call 1-800-786-1730 x4 for a sample grant template full of ideas!