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Roosevelt Elementary School in Rahway Grand Prize Winner in School Nutrition Contest

or Immediate Release: December 13, 2013
Contact: Lynne Richmond 

(EAST RUTHERFORD) – Six Roosevelt Elementary School in Rahway students, their Principal Rocco Collucci and Physical Education teacher  Peter Casteneda represented their school Sunday, December 8 as the New York Jets and the Christie Administration recognized the school’s nutrition achievements during the Jets/Oakland Raiders football game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.

Roosevelt School group on the field at the Jets game
Rose Tricario with Roosevelt School physical education teacher Peter Castaneda and principal Rocco Collucci with students Jonathan Mendez, Maliky Blair, Joshua Ott, Anna Daniels, Ajanae Thomson and Darryl Ansah

Roosevelt Elementary School was this year’s grand prize winner of the Department of Agriculture’s Jets Play 60 Eat Right, Move More Program, which challenges schools to demonstrate a commitment to serving more fresh fruits and vegetables; a greater variety of vegetables, such as dark green and orange vegetables and legumes; and more whole grains.  They also had to show strong support and demonstrate efforts to improve nutrition and physical activity among their students. 

“Teaching students good nutrition and exercise habits is a team effort at Roosevelt Elementary School,” said Rose Tricario, Director of NJDA’s Division of Food and Nutrition.  “The students who attended the game understood that by taking care of their bodies through eating right and moving more they will grow up stronger and healthier.”

The group was brought down onto the playing field prior to the Jets game where they were taped, the tape was played during a break in the game and their school’s achievement was announced.  Principal Collucci said he was in awe of the whole experience.

“This shows the kids they’re special,” he said.  “Eating right and moving more is what we’re trying to instill in the kids.  It’s a life lesson.”

The students who attended the game were Darryl Ansah, Maliky Blair, Anna Daniels, Jonathan Mendez, Joshua Ott and Ajanae Thomson.

“I was so excited to go out on the field,” said 10 year-old  fifth-grader Anna Daniels.  “I feel so lucky; it was one-of-a-kind.”

In addition to being honored at the Jets game, Jets kicker Nick Folk visited the school on December 3 to meet with students and the school received a $5,000 prize, half of which will be used to modify the serving line to better showcase fresh produce choices daily.  According to the grant criteria, the other half must be used toward the purchase of physical education equipment. 

As grand prize winner, Roosevelt will be required to participate in the Jets Play 60 Challenge, where at least 100 students must commit to log 60 minutes of physical activity every day for four weeks.

This is the eighth year of the Eat Right, Move More Program, a partnership between the Jets, the Department of Agriculture and the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council.  

As a professional football team that plays in New Jersey, the Jets regularly promote youth health, fitness, and education, particularly in disadvantaged communities.