On Tuesday, October 10, the Los Angeles Rams along with Fuel Up to Play 60 and the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), representing California's dairy farm families, presented Inglewood Unified School District with a $10,000 'Hometown Grant' at Highland Elementary to support healthy eating and activity programs. Inglewood Mayor James Butts, Councilmember Alex Padilla and district representatives were onsite with Rams Tackle Cornelius Lucas, Rams cheerleaders and mascot, Rampage, to present the endowment and participate in a circuit of drills encouraging 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
One of the many missions for Highland Elementary' s educators is to empower their students to believe they can achieve and maintain healthy habits. Dr. Annette Beasley, the Principal of Highland Elementary, believes the Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative provides students with useful health and wellness instruction. She hopes to allocate the donation funds towards equipment that will continue to fuel and inspire physical activity for her students in some of education's most pivotal stages.
"This is a great experience for our students," said Beasley. "It's really showing them how to live a healthy lifestyle and how to be active for at least 60 minutes per day. The students are just so excited to be able to participate and to have a real football player here on our campus. And then getting a donation of $10,000 is really going to help our school purchase some P.E. equipment for them. As a leader, I want to bring these types of partnerships to our school and have our students dream big and achieve big."
The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) works closely with the state's NFL teams to encourage California's youth to consume low-fat and fat-free dairy products, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains while completing their daily hour of fitness. CMAB's Director of Communications, Jennifer Giambroni, believes the NFL's involvement with the in-school nutrition and activity program is a key way to get students and schools motivated to make sustainable changes.
"The Hometown Grant is exciting to us because it's a true partnership between our California Dairy Farm Families and the Rams," said Giambroni. "They are going into a community and saying, 'We want to support your health and wellness goals.' We know Fuel Up to Play 60 and the Play 60 program work all year round, but 'Hometown Grant' is a little something extra special, rewarding $10,000 knowing it's going to programs that are really going to have a demonstrable effect for kids. It's a special event, we really love doing it, and we love partnering with the Rams."
As a professional athlete, Rams Tackle Cornelius Lucas once admired an inspirational figure. Some of his healthy habits may be attributed to the acquisition of character traits, practices or even attributes of a former role model. To pay it forward, Lucas took the time to visit the students of Highland Elementary and explain the importance of making healthy choices before leading them in rotational drills.
"I would hope this means a lot to them," said Lucas. "I really take pride and find the pleasure in giving back and talking to the kids, giving them positivity in a world full of so much negativity. I feel like it's always important to shed light and give back, just to give off the positive vibes, positive thoughts, and let them know they can be anything they want to be in life."
Another special guest paid a visit to Highland Elementary. Inglewood Mayor James Butts introduced the Rams and CMAB to the students after providing a brief explanation of the importance of the day's mission. Mayor Butts believes the Rams support of Inglewood is contributing to the budding excitement in the community and will continue to create a lasting impact on the city's youth.
"The Rams have scored again big time for the kids in the city of Inglewood," said Mayor Butts. "We love the Play 60 program, we appreciate the Milk Council, but I think most important is what the team has brought to the ambiance and pride of our community. We consider them part of our brand and we thank Stan Kroenke and the Rams for bringing them back to Inglewood."