yusuf ali and ann kozarekEdinbrook Elementary’s Yusuf Ali takes his role as a Fuel Up to Play 60 student ambassador seriously. That’s why, last fall, the fifth-grader entered Edinbrook into the Fuel Up to Play 60 School Fitness Transformation Contest.

With a $1,000 prize up for grabs, Ali wrote an essay about how fitness makes a difference in the school day and how Edinbrook could benefit from additional funding to enhance its physical activity programming. Ali’s initiative paid off this winter as his essay was selected among an elite group of 100 nationwide winners.

Ann Kozarek, physical education teacher at Edinbrook Elementary, said this award helps the school continue to foster a culture of fitness and overall student well-being. In the months ahead, Edinbrook will host Jump Rope for Heart, Every Kid Healthy Day, and American Ninja Warrior events for students.

“We do many programs to keep our students active and healthy,” she added. “The grant money from the School Fitness Transformation Contest will allow us to further our commitment to creating a fitness-rich environment for all students. We’re proud of Yusuf for helping us achieve our goals!”

Ali is one of 10 student ambassadors for the Fuel Up to Play 60 program at Edinbrook Elementary. Kozarek is the program advisor and meets with the students monthly to discuss fitness initiatives at the school. The ambassadors volunteer their time to assist with fitness events throughout the year, as well as lead Fuel Up to Play 60 programming for students in all grades.

At their February meeting, ambassadors brainstormed ideas for how to use the grant money. From fitness trackers to gym equipment to outdoor play area enhancements, Kozarek said she will look into all options to determine the best fit for all Edinbrook students.

Learn more about Fuel Up to Play 60

PHOTO: Yusuf Ali, fifth grade student at Edinbrook Elementary, and Physical Education Teacher Ann Kozarek. Kozarek is the advisor for Fuel Up to Play 60 at Edinbrook and Ali serves as a student ambassador for the program.