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Smoothie sailing: Woodbury Elementary students launch Fuel up to Play 60

School District 833

"I know what I like so I put stuff in and, voila!" said Nathan Larsen, 10, as he concocted a smoothie last Wednesday at Woodbury Elementary.

He ended up eating — or drinking — his words as he tasted the result. Nathan's mouth puckered and his eyes watered.

He said he may have overdone the lime juice. Back to the drawing board.

The smoothie lab was part of the kick-off for Fuel Up to Play 60, a health and fitness campaign.

Eight fourth-graders — four boys and four girls — were chosen to launch the program, which is also in other District 833 schools, including Newport and Pullman elementaries.

Physical education teacher Jim Pelletier is one of the faculty advisors for the group.

"I think what it's really doing is allowing the students to take some responsibility to take some time to find healthy food to fuel their bodies for the 60 minutes," Pelletier said.

The "elite eight" will begin by completing challenges contained in an online playbook, such as choosing the right breakfast program. The goal is to eventually involve the entire school in the process, as well as the community.

"We're training to be leaders this year," fourth grader Ellie Thompson said. "Next year we're going to get more people to do it."

The program is a partnership between the National Dairy Council and NFL.

"It's really focused on student leadership and trying to get the educators and the community working together for health and wellness," said Sarah Gorter, a nutritionist who is consulting on the project.

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William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

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