Rewarding Teachers with Excellence Awards
Teachers dedicated to educating young students through the Fuel Up to Play 60 program earn deserved recognition.
This month, Dairy MAX takes the opportunity to recognize educators within the Fuel Up to Play 60 program through the third annual Fuel Up to Play 60 Excellence Awards. “Teachers are not recognized often, and this is how we can show support for them in front of their peers and school administrators,” says Alyson Kirchner, vice president of school marketing at Dairy MAX.
Fuel Up to Play 60 program advisors, typically physical education teachers, are the individuals recognized at the Excellence Awards. Other guests such as school administrators, superintendents and district wellness coordinators are invited to celebrate the hard work of Fuel Up to Play 60 program advisors. “The Excellence Awards are designed to create loyalty in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program and encourage educators to continue implementing the program year after year,” Kirchner says. “We also want to encourage other teachers to implement Fuel Up to Play 60 in their schools as well.”
To be eligible to apply for an excellence award, each school must complete all six steps of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. Schools completing the steps are referred to as touchdown schools within the program.
“For the 2016-2017 school year, Dairy MAX had 451 touchdown schools completing all six steps—an 11 percent increase from 406 touchdowns the previous school year,” Kirchner states. Fuel Up to Play 60 program advisors can submit their success story to one of the eight award categories: Dairy Good award, Breakfast Shines, Creative Minds, Best Physical Activity Play, Community Unites, Student Stars, Healthy Competition and Master Collaborator.
Success stories are evaluated using a point system, and award winners are invited to attend the Excellence Awards in their respective area. “This year, there are four Excellence Award ceremonies from May 9-17, located in Houston, Austin, Corpus Christi and Dallas,” Kirchner says. At each event, a Fuel Up to Play 60 player ambassador presents the Excellence Awards to educators. Dairy farmers are also invited to attend the Excellence Awards. Farmer presence highlights dairy farmers’ commitment to their communities, especially in school programs like Fuel Up to Play 60.
“We work to make sure to include dairy farmers as a part of the Excellence Awards, with at least one in attendance at each event,” Kirchner says. Business partners will also be present at the Excellence Awards to show their support for the program. “This year we will be layering in partners, milk processors and other business partners committed to supporting youth through Fuel Up to Play 60,” Kirchner says.
Each Excellence Award ceremony ends with a milk toast to another successful year encouraging students to eat healthy foods and get a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Award winners will be announced at the Excellence Awards ceremonies throughout the month of May.