GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Woodlands Middle School is bringing in former New York Jets player Fred Baxter to help fight childhood obesity.
Baxter is part of the NFL's Play 60 movement, a national campaign that encourages children to be physically active for at least 60 minutes a day to fight childhood obesity.
In the middle school gym on Wednesday evening, a former tight end for the Jets and the Super Bowl XXXVIII champion New England Patriots, will speak about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and will partake in other games in activities in the middle school gym Wednesday evening.
Baxter is also founder of The Fred Baxter Foundation, which provides academic and physical development programs to disadvantaged youth and families. Woodlands High School Athletic Director Matt Smith said they were lucky to have Tahira Chase, the school's director of curriculum, to partner the school with the NFL program.
The event is not only geared toward children who risk being overweight — all children should learn how to eat healthy and stay active, Smith said.
"We want to get people up and active and we encourage families to come out and get involved," he said. "I think kids should always be given the option for healthy choices."
Almost 60 percent of Westchester County citizens are overweight or obese, according to the New York state Department of Health. With obesity levels at an all-time high nationally, Smith said Play 60 can teach kids to stay on an active schedule so they continue to make healthy decisions as they grow older.
Play 60 doesn't have to be a consecutive hour in the day, either.
"A five-minute walk to the store, playing tag with friends, shooting some hoops — all this accumulates at the end of the day," Smith said.
Play 60 will include different stations full of activities like Simon Says, volleyball and relay races, and will end with a variety of healthy snacks to choose from.
The event starts at 6 p.m. at the Woodlands Middle School gym, 475 W. Hartsdale Ave.
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