Waverly Park Elementary School capped off their Health and Wellness week in a big way with a visit from former New York Jets fullback Tony Richardson on Oct. 26. Administrators including Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak, board of education members, students and staff gathered in the school gymnasium for the anticipated event to hear Mr. Richardson speak.
Showing pride for their favorite sports teams, students and staff members were encouraged to wear sport shirts and jerseys. Many represented the Jets proudly for their guest of honor. Principal Allison Banhazl introduced Mr. Richardson who appeared with a roar of applause.
Mr. Richardson, who played for the Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs and most recently, the New York Jets, spoke with students about making healthy choices for the mind and body. This included discussing the National Football League’s program, Play 60. The program encourages young people to be active 60 minutes a day. Mr. Richardson also spoke about his career and personal life. He told students about what it was like to grow up in a military family and how he constantly changed schools. He stressed to students that they should always be an upstander, to tell an adult when faced with a bully and to always be a friend.
Toward the end of the presentation, Ms. Banhazl facilitated a trivia game with the students. Questions were asked about health and wellness topics that were covered throughout the week. During the week, the students participated in lessons that captured what it means to keep your mind and body healthy. This included yoga, martial arts, healthy eating, jump roping and anti-bullying lessons. Students were eager to answer the questions and those who correctly answered, received a handshake and a signed football from Mr. Richardson to be displayed in their classrooms. The important week was made possible by Waverly Park’s Health and Wellness Committee, teachers and the school PTA who showed their support.