Vt. boy teams up with NFL to help battle the bulge - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. boy teams up with NFL to help battle the bulge

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"If you tracked your eating and activity within week you could get entered to win a jersey, so I was the winner!" Noah Carpenter said.

Noah may have picked a Giants jersey, but he's a seventh-grader from Patriots country who is representing Vermont in a big way! Like his sweatshirt says, he is the Vermont ambassador for Fuel Up to Play 60, a partnership between the New England Dairy and Food Council and the NFL. As ambassador, Noah took part in a Fuel Up to Play 60 Summit in Charlotte, N.C., last summer.

Noah Carpenter: One of the days we actually met two Panthers football players.

Reporter Julie Kelley: Wow! What was that like?

Noah Carpenter: Once in a lifetime thing! You don't usually get to do that.

While meeting Panthers star Steve Smith was a highlight, it is what is happening back here at home at Fairfield Center School that is changing lives.

"With this program we're fighting childhood obesity, teaching the kids healthy eating, 60 minutes of play a day; we provide them opportunities throughout the school week to get up and get energized," Beth Howrigan said.

Howrigan is a veteran teacher and a dairy farmer with her husband. She brought the idea of Fuel Up to Play 60 to this small school in Franklin County. Howrigan says Play 60 has even had an impact in the classroom. They now do 5-minute movement breaks just to get the kids moving during the day. They also have get up and get moving mornings, where kids come 30 minutes early to play and taste tests where kids can try new foods.

"This team loves to do flash mobs, so in the middle of lunch all of a sudden you have Fuel Up to Play 60 kids dancing and then you have the whole lunch room moving. Three minutes, then everybody is back to business and it really energizes everybody for a day," Howrigan said.

"These are our snowshoes when we get enough snow we go snowshoeing in PE," Noah said

The money for those snowshoes came from Fuel Up to Play 60. Each year schools can apply for up to $4,000 in grant money.

"Noah probably didn't tell you that he was invited to the University of Virginia to speak at the Youth Next Forum," Howrigan said.

He was the only child in a group of 200 educators from around the country sharing the healthy changes happening at his school.

"It was pretty amazing. Our family was pretty impressed with Noah with how he represented Fairfield and Vermont and the whole national Fuel Up to Play 60 organization," mom Jennifer Carpenter said.

"We even had a superintendent from the state of Georgia say I'm going back and we're going to revise," Howrigan said.

A small school in Vermont setting a big example for the rest of the country about what is possible to make fighting childhood obesity fun!

The school is doing a tie-in with the Super Bowl. This is Souper Bowl week at Fairfield Center School. They collect cans of soup to donate and also make healthy soup for all the students.

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