The NFL's San Diego Chargers, a team with a strong and lengthy community commitment to San Diego's youth, brought a Peaceful Playground and an Action Based Learning Lab to students at Nye Elementary on September 30, 2014.
The Chargers made this possible courtesy of a $30,000 grant awarded by the Chargers' Champions Program in 2013. Following the ribbon cutting, Chargers' players Darrell Stuckey and Shareece Wright delighted students and staff with their words of wisdom on "eating right", "staying fit" and "dreaming big", all themes of the Play 60 Program, an NFL nationwide school program they represented.
Stuckley urged students to eat right by eating from all five food groups. To a student's question about what he ate before a game, Stuckley responded, "steak, rice, broccoli and a salad, hitting 3 of five food groups", pointing out protein, vegetables and grains. Both Chargers' players agreed that "staying fit" required about 4-5 hours of drills and exercise a day courtesy of the Chargers coaches and staff.
Wright spoke on the importance of team work and fair play. When asked by a student, "What do you think about before games", Wright said he "thought about what he could do to support his teammates so as to win the game together."
School Board Vice President, Marne Foster told students, "Peace, like the Peaceful Playground you received from the Chargers, is the key to a successful and happy life. Be kind to your friends, your teachers and staff here at Nye School and be peaceful in your everyday life," she advised.
When Stuckley and Wright were asked about the education necessary to be an NFL football player, both talked about their college education and its importance. Wright spoke of his days at USC, bringing a cheer from some parents. Stuckley shared he attended college in his home state of Kansas. Both men agreed that at least 2 years of college education is basically required before anyone is drafted into the NFL and they pointed out that after 5 years with the NFL, completing your college education would be paid for by the NFL. This seemed to impressed both students and staff alike.
After answering student questions for about 30 minutes, the event moved on to the Peaceful Playgrounds' games in which both players and 2 Charger Cheerleaders challenged students on the new 4 square courts, ball hopscotch courts, funnel ball, running track, and bean bag toss games. Following the playtime, some students proceeded to the new Action Based Learning Lab and demonstrated skills acquired crossing the midline, balancing, and log rolls joined by the players and cheerleaders.
The Chargers' Champions grant was written by 1st grade teacher, Ms. Suzie Rosenthal, and Physical Education instructor, Ms. Gaylene Davis making both Peaceful Playgrounds and the Action Based Lab possible.
Chargers' Champions, a program of the Chargers' Community Foundation, makes a strong commitment to improving physical fitness in San Diego County schools by providing grants for new facilities and equipment.