Connor Gibbs, a sixth-grade student from Cedar Creek Elementary, was chosen to attend the seventh annual Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador Summit. The national event was held July 25-28 at Purdue University in Indiana.
Connor, a member of the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District Elementary Nutrition Council, is the first student from the Kansas City metropolitan area to be selected. Connor was accompanied by Fuel Up to Play 60 Sunset Valley Elementary advisor and physical-education teacher Karen Reynolds.
Lee’s Summit R-7 schools have participated in the Fuel Up To Play 60 program for five years. Through this program and with assistance from the Midwest Dairy Council, schools were able to implement grab-and-go breakfasts at all elementary and middle schools.
At the summit, Connor was chosen to interview Daryl “Moose” Johnston, former Dallas Cowboys football player and three-time Super Bowl winner. Only two students were selected to participate in the interviews.
Over 150 students and program advisors from all over the country attended this year’s Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador Summit. Students in attendance applied to attend this coveted event where they learned about how to become a leader in their communities and how to make healthy changes in their schools, whether it be new drinking fountains, offering healthy school meal options or implementing “brain breaks” in the classroom. Not only did they learn from each other, they also got to learn from and play with eight NFL players and alumni.
The students and teachers on site had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of meeting a number of active and alumni NFL players as well. Alejandro Villanueva of the Pittsburgh Steelers stopped in on day one to welcome the guests with a former United States Army officer, Lt. General Mark Hertling. Michael Johnson of the Cincinnati Bengals and Brian Mitchell, a former Redskins player, both spoke with the students about telling their stories, while also sharing their own. On the final day, five former NFL players joined the students at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center to play flag football.
They also took part in tours at Fair Oaks Farms and Winfield Crop Adventure, learning about the sustainability aspects of farming, cow nutrition and the safety and nutrition of milk. At Winfield they had the opportunity to explore underneath a farmer’s fields and get a firsthand look at the world of bugs, roots, seeds and soil.