Johnson gets flag football gear from Falcons
The Rise Up! 159 kits include flag belts, reversible jerseys, footballs, water bottles and T-shirts.
To celebrate NFL Flag Football Week in Georgia, the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation unveiled flag football equipment donations to elementary and middle schools in every one of the state’s 159 counties last week, including Johnson Elementary School.
Through the new initiative, Rise Up! 159, the Falcons are donating NFL flag football kits for use in PE classes at 80 elementary schools and 79 middle schools. The kits include 50 flag belts and Falcons NFL flag reversible jerseys, footballs, water bottles, T-shirts and other supplies.
During this school year, PE teachers at the 159 schools will use NFL flag football curricula to increase the time children spend in physical activity. The initiative will reach more than 30,000 boys and girls in Georgia schools.
“The Falcons emailed Johnson Elementary asking if we would like to participate. They were choosing one school per county and we jumped at the chance,” said Tanya Welchel, Johnson Elementary School’s interim principal. “The purpose of the program is to promote physical activity in our schools. We are looking forward to using the equipment when our new P.E. teacher, Meg Inscoe, implements her flag football unit. Johnson is proud to support physical fitness and our Atlanta Falcons.”
“Rise Up! 159 brings children from every Georgia county into the Falcons family” said Mark Simmons, an Atlanta Falcons associate and part of the staff team that reviews and awards grants. “NFL Flag Football elevates the fun factor for P.E. classes, and that means more children will spend more time in physical activity.”
To implement Rise Up! 159, the Falcons are partnering with Georgia Shape, Gov. Nathan Deal’s statewide initiative that brings together governmental, philanthropic, academic and business communities to address childhood obesity.
In the official proclamation designating the week of Aug. 21 as NFL Flag Football Week in Georgia, Deal recognized that NFL flag football participation has increased 19 percent annually since 2011, and over the past two years the Falcons have trained 400 PE teachers in 9 school districts to implement the NFL Flag Football curriculum.
“Rise Up! 159 is a gamechanger,” said Dr. J. Patrick O’Neal, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, which administers Georgia Shape. “Increased physical activity results in fewer disciplinary incidents, teachers see more instructional time, and students are better prepared to learn.”
A new web site, www. RiseUp159.org, includes a map with information about the 159 school partners as well as future funding opportunities.
Johnson Elementary School students, along with their PE teacher Meg Inscoe, show off their NFL flag football kits donated by the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation
Johnson Elementary School counselor Shamika McClendon and PE teacher Meg Inscoe hold up the Rise Up! 159 T-shirts.
Photos by Lenora McEntire, Floyd County Schools