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Sossaman takes part in NFL Play 60 challenge

Students running in PE class
Getting good grades in school is not the only thing Sossaman Middle School is focused on.

The NFL Play 60 program is a six-week challenge to increase physical activity with students in and out of school. This program is supported by the Arizona Cardinals, the National Football League and the American Heart Association.

Sossaman Middle School has stepped up to the challenge. During this challenge, students will track their physical activity and participate in various physical education lessons provided by the American Heart Association.

“I believe strongly that kids need exercise,” Principal John Dolan said. “The advancement in technology makes it easier for parents to put on the T.V. or give their child an iPad to keep them busy. This program is a great step in reintroducing the importance of being outside.”

To promote the program on campus, the “Play 60” motto will be spread throughout school with announcements and lunchtime events. At the end of the challenge, a select group of seventh graders will be rewarded with a field trip to the University of Phoenix Stadium – home of the Arizona Cardinals - for an afternoon of physical activities.

Physical Education teacher Jesse Brown participated in the Jump Rope for the Heart Program when he was a PE teacher at San Tan Elementary School years ago.

“We were thrilled to be selected as only 22 schools in the state were chosen to participate in the full program that includes the special field trip to the Cardinals’ stadium,” Brown said.

The program will be run campus-wide, with Brown and other teachers taking the lead, with the assistance of Play 60 program. All students will have the chance to participate, whether they are enrolled in PE or not.

Every day of the week will present some type of activity in relation to the program during the month of November. For example, a Play 60 fun fact will be announced on Mondays. Play 60 lesson plans will be applied every day in PE class.

“Its overall impact, in my opinion, will be seen in more socialization for kids which could lead to better self-esteem,” Dolan said. “The other impact I see is in the increased health for our students, overall.”