Cowles Montessori Receives Funding for Wellness Initiatives

Cowles Montessori School has been chosen to receive $4,000 to support its Fuel Up to Play 60 initiatives, which will help the school jumpstart and sustain nutrition and physical activity improvements.

This nationwide funding program offers schools up to $4,000 to help them increase awareness of and access to nutrient-rich foods and physical activity opportunities for students. Funding for this competitive program is provided by Midwest Dairy Council on behalf of dairy farmers in 10 Midwest states.

Cowles Montessori School will use the funds to create a 5K run to promote a healthy, active lifestyle for the Cowles community and surrounding communities.

“The Cowles community is deeply committed to wellness and promoting a healthy and active lifestyle,” said Elizabeth Mashek, Cowles principal. “The Fuel Up to Play 60 grant will help us achieve our goals.”

Fuel Up to Play 60 funds provide support for a variety of activities and tools, such as foodservice materials and equipment, nutrition and physical education materials, student and staff incentives, staff development and overall Fuel Up to Play 60 implementation in an effort to champion school wellness.

More than 70,000 schools across the United States are participating in Fuel Up to Play 60. Launched by National Dairy Council, local dairy councils and the National Football League, in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Multiple health organizations and several major corporations are also supporting Fuel Up to Play 60, now in its third year.

“Fuel Up to Play 60 has really taken off in Des Moines Public Schools. Wellness champions and students in nearly 10,000 schools across the Midwest have embraced the program, and these funds will help many of the participating schools to do even more,” said Melissa Young, health and wellness director with Midwest Dairy Council.

DMPS schools receiving Fuel Up to Play 60 grants for the 2010-2011 school year were Brody, Callanan, Central Campus, East, and Goodrell. Schools, parents and students can learn more about Fuel Up to Play 60 at