(l to r) Cincinnati Bengal Michael Johnson, asst. commissioner of Ohio High School Athletic Association Steve Neil, Aiken College and Career High School student Leonard Dean and motivational speaker "Dr. Mike" Thompson.
Students Eat Healthy Snacks with a Bengals Player
Thanks to a partnership between Cincinnati Public Schools and the American Dairy Association Mideast, ten students from Cincinnati Public Schools got the chance to share a healthy after-school snack with Cincinnati Bengals Defensive End Michael Johnson. The young men, ages 12 to 18, gathered to hear from Johnson and other positive role models about nutrition.
The students are part of the We Need M.O.R.E. (Men Organized, Respectful and Educated) group, created by Cincinnati Public Schools. They met for 90 minutes after school at the district’s Interactive Learning Center Room, located at 2651 Burnet Avenue.
Michael Johnson issued a challenge to the young men, “As leaders of your school’s M.O.R.E. Initiative, create a challenge among your schools to encourage your friends and classmates to get a smart start to their day by eating breakfast every day. There’s no excuse – breakfast is served at school every day!”
Johnson joined “Dr. Mike” Thomson, an author and motivational speaker, in leading a discussion about the benefits of incorporating healthy eating and physical activity into their everyday lives. Steve Neil, Assistant Commissioner of the Ohio High School Athletic Association and a Walnut Hills High School graduate of Cincinnati Public Schools joined in to reinforce the message.
As the group shared a healthy snack of cheese and crackers, fresh fruit and vegetables and milk, provided by the American Dairy Association Mideast, “Dr. Mike” Thomson told the kids: "You can make a difference for yourself and you can help make your school an even better place by inspiring your friends and classmates to “fuel up” with nutrient-rich foods, such as low fat and fat-free dairy foods, fruits, vegetables and whole grains and to “get up and play” for at least 60 minutes every day. Remember, Garbage in, garbage out — healthy in, healthy out."
Scott Higgins, CEO for American Dairy Association Mideast said: “These kids aren’t in it alone. Fuel Up to Play 60 has tools and resources to lead their school’s MORE Initiative in creating activities before, during or after school to get students moving or to choose healthier foods.”
The ADA’s Fuel Up to Play 60 movement targets students in grades 4-10 to fuel up with the food groups kids don’t get enough of including low-fat and fat-free dairy foods, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
The M.O.R.E Program is a new initiative of Cincinnati Public Schools designed to nurture academic success and strong character among African-American and other at-risk young men in the district. Ten young men’s clubs created at the middle school and high school levels focus on positive skills including health and wellness, academic support and good citizenship.