On September 18 and 19, 2012, students, policy makers, educators and health professionals from across the country gathered to explore the connections between eating well, exercising and learning at the 2012 Nutrition + Physical Activity Learning Connection Summit hosted by GENYOUth Foundation in Washington D.C.
Eight Fuel Up to Play 60 student ambassadors were chosen to attend the Summit, two of which hail from the Midwest. Alejandro Guadarrama, the national ambassador from Waukegan, Ill., and Kylie Kasprick, Minnesota’s student ambassador from Brooklyn Park, Minn., joined six other ambassadors to learn about the benefits of healthy eating and fitness through fun, interactive programs and activities.
One activity Alejandro, Kylie and the rest of the students participated in was serving as sous chefs to Carla Hull, co-host of ABC’s The Chew and former Top Chef contestant. The students and Carla formulated tasty and nutritious breakfast ideas that would keep kids fueled throughout the day.
The ambassadors also attended GENYOUth’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Night, where NFL greats Kurt Warner, Ray Rice, Darrell Green and London Fletcher led Summit attendees through an evening of fitness activities, healthy snacks and fun!
Another former NFL great Howie Long joined Jean H. Ragalie, the president of the National Dairy Council and the Fuel Up to Play 60 students in a discussion of how FUTP60 has made a positive impact in schools.
Findings on the correlations between nutrition, exercise and learning were also presented at the Summit by leading experts in the field. Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives, also spoke on the importance of healthy eating, and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan shared his support of nutrition and wellness programs in schools.
GENYOUth Foundation also unveiled its AdVenture Capital Initiative – an entrepreneurial program that asks kids to create and pitch unique, realistic ideas for potential grants that can help improve nutrition and activity at their schools. Corporate executives at the Summit led the first “class” of young entrepreneurs’ in sharing their proposals, kick-starting lasting student/corporate partnerships that will benefit students and schools today, and the American workforce tomorrow.
The conference was co-hosted by the National Dairy Council, American College of Sports Medicine and American School Health Association, and supporters Quaker, Dole, Microsoft Xbox Kinect and Hewlett-Packard.
More information on the 2012 Learning Connections Summit can be found at www.genyouthfoundation.org.