THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION AND NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE WORK TOGETHER WITH DISCOVERY EDUCATION TO EXPAND THE ‘NFL PLAY 60 CHALLENGE’ FOR STUDENTS AND EDUCATORS NATIONWIDE
Comprehensive Educational Initiative Offers All-New Standards-Aligned Digital Resources and Engaging Curriculum to Inspire Students Grades 3-8 to Be Physically Active for 60 Minutes Every Day
(Dallas, November 30, 2015) – The American Heart Association (AHA) and National Football League (NFL) have partnered with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, to expand the AHA-NFL PLAY 60 Challenge to offer all-new, standards-aligned digital resources for students, educators and families across the country. The new resources include interactive classroom activities, engaging curriculum and lesson plans, and family resources. Available at no cost, the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge is designed to inspire students grades 3-8 to get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day and help more schools become places that encourage physically active lifestyles year-round.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Acknowledging that physical activity produces overall physical, psychological and social benefits, and inactive children are likely to become inactive adults, the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge leverages the American Heart Association’s health expertise and the NFL’s commitment to physical fitness to motivate children to become physically active and instill healthy fitness habits. Powered by Discovery Education, the new PLAY 60 Challenge resources include:
Curriculum and classroom activities: Aligned to National Physical Education Learning Standards, Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards, NFL PLAY 60’s curriculum, lesson plans and classroom activities cover topics such as the impact of physical activity on cardiovascular health, and movements and strategies that best contribute to strong physical health.
Downloadable family resources: Designed to extend learning beyond the classroom, NFL PLAY 60’s at-home family resources encourage the development of personal and family goals for weekly physical activity.
Interactive video segments: Featuring Ryan Kerrigan, outside linebacker for the Washington Redskins, NFL PLAY 60 offers short, interactive videos for classroom or home use that excite and educate students about various exercises. During these videos, Kerrigan coaches participating students through various movements while explaining the benefits of each physical activity.
“Engaging students in physical activity not only provides fitness benefits, but also aids in improving academic achievement,” said Andy Losik, teacher at Hamilton Community Schools, Michigan. “I am looking forward to implementing NFL PLAY 60 resources in my classroom to inspire my students to become physically active and understand the importance of daily exercise.”
According to a recent study published in the online journal PLOS ONE, kids who are physically fit have differences in their brain structures that might allow them to achieve higher in math. The study found that children who could run for longer periods of time had increased functioning in their frontal cortex. This part of the brain is important for academic performance because it is involved in working memory, which especially helps in solving math problems, as well as cognitive flexibility, or the ability to tune out distractions.
“The American Heart Association is delighted to partner with the National Football League and Discovery Education to expand the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge,” said Nancy Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the American Heart Association. “By working together we’ll be able to provide new digital resources to help increase the engagement of children and their families in physical activity. By developing healthy habits at the earliest age possible, kids greatly reduce their risk of facing heart disease and other chronic illnesses later in life.”
“We are pleased to work with Discovery Education to expand the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge through online activity guides and physical fitness videos,” said Clare Graff, NFL Director of Social Responsibility. “These online classroom resources will benefit students, educators and families across the country and help continue the American Heart Association and NFL’s long-standing commitment to youth health and wellness.”
“Discovery Education is proud to collaborate with the American Heart Association and National Football League to extend the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge through dynamic classroom resources,” said Lori McFarling, Senior Vice President of Discovery Education. “This important initiative provides classrooms and families nationwide with unique learning opportunities that excite and engage students in important health topics and inspire lifelong healthy habits.”
For more information on the program or to access the NFL PLAY 60’s free resources, visit: heart.org/NFLPLAY60Challenge.
About American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, over 40 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.
About NFL PLAY 60
Designed to tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL’s long-standing commitment to health and wellness with partner organizations. PLAY 60 also is implemented locally, as part of the NFL's in-school, after-school and team-based programs. Since the program was launched in 2007, the NFL has committed more than $325 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for public service announcements. The NFL and its teams have built more than 200 NFL Youth Fitness Zones and integrated programs into more than 73,000 schools nationwide since the campaign launched. All 32 clubs activate PLAY 60 locally, with more than 2,000 NFL PLAY 60 events held annually. For more information, visit NFLRUSH.com.
For Media Inquiries: (214) 706-1173
Kelsey Guy, American Heart Association
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Elizabeth Hillman, Discovery Education
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Ana Blinder, National Football League
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For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
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