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Glenwood students take milk challenge and expect big visit

February 13, 2019
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

Boardman Glenwood Junior High School students got involved in an interesting test recently. They sampled several different flavored milks as part of the Fuel Up to 60 fitness program.

Among the variety of milk flavors were Cookies and Cream, Cotton Candy, and Butter Pecan.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an NFL sponsored program to get kids fit. The dairy flavor test is a small part of that program according to Danielle Siembida, Glenwood physical education teacher. She said Glenwood partnered with Baker's Golden Dairy for the program.

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Glenwood seventh grader Alexa Alabed tastes cookies and cream flavored milk, but says the cotton candy flavor was her favorite.

"Baker's Golden Dairy is a local dairy farm that has over 20 flavors of milk," Siembida said. "I don't think they have plans to get their milk into our schools at this point, but I would like to have a conversation with them to see if they are interested. Milk companies have to bid on a contract with the school and I'm not sure how competitive their prices will be. I haven't talked to them about it. Our goal was to find a dairy farm to partner with so I ran a google search for dairy farms in the area and theirs came up. They are unique because they are the only on farm bottling plant in the area. They do it all on their farm."

The milk taste challenge was fun for students and even staff. Principal Bart Smith sampled all three flavored milks, and decided cotton candy was his number one choice.

Siembida said the partnership for the milk taste challenge also included a partnership with Western Reserve Sparkle Market.

Going one step further, Glenwood will be getting a surprise visit later this year from an NFL football player. It was all part of a video contest under the Fuel Up and Play 60 program. Glenwood has a new Fuel up to Play 60 Club this year, and is in tune with fitness and healthy activities. The milk challenge and the video contest are part of the NFL's Fuel Up to Play 60 push for healthy eating and healthy life choices.

"We were awarded a flag football kit last spring and then entered a contest that showed the kit being used by students," Siembida said. "Submissions were scored in three areas: School Spirit, Fuel Up to Play 60 spirit, and Creativity. We asked our student media club to come take some pictures and videos of the kids playing flag football and then they compiled everything into a one-minute video for the contest."

The video included pictures of the kids playing flag football, cheerleaders on the sideline, and the kids drinking milk afterward. The entire video was led and produced by the students. It involved 16 students in the game, four cheerleaders who came to support the kids, and six students from the media club.

The Glenwood submission was one of six schools across America to win the grand prize. That prize will include an NFL layer visit in the upcoming months. Siembida said no one at Glenwood knows who the player will be, but she said it adds to the excitement level.

In the meantime, the Fuel Up to Play 60Club will continue its work at the school. Glenwood has some new gym equipment this year that helps students stay active, but doing it for 60 minutes is tough.

"With a tight schedule and no recess at the Junior High level, we struggle to find opportunities for our kids to be active during the school day," Siembida said. "That is one of the reasons we wanted to start this club. We're all about encouraging healthy eating and more physical activity. Our students have PE every day for a semester, so half of the student body gets some kind of exercise daily, but not 60 minutes. We have added Friday morning open gyms that all students are invited to attend. It's only one day and about 30 minutes, but it is a start. We have also added an opportunity for students to leave lunch 10 minutes early one day a week to come down to the gym for activity time. Again, it's only one day and for 10-15 minutes, but it is a start."

The club is open to all students at Glenwood. The first group of members came up with the team name "SpartanUp." They create accounts on the Fuel Up to Play 60 website where they participate in different challenges to earn points and win prizes. At Glenwood, the club members promote healthy lifestyles by putting up posters, hosting events like the milk challenge, and a variety of other health related events.

"Our hope is that we continue to grow every year and that more of the student body will become involved in the activities we will be planning," Siembida said. "The club members are instrumental in coming up with ideas they would like to see implemented at Glenwood. They basically ran the entire [milk] taste test by pouring the samples and serving them to the students. They will also be running the upcoming basketball tournament."



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