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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
NFL Network Announces Dana Griffith as "PE Teacher of the Year"
April 27, 2011 – NFL Network's Keep Gym in School campaign has named Dana Griffith the first-ever "NFL Network PE Teacher of the Year." Griffith will receive a $10,000 award as well as a $10,000 grant for the PE program at Berkmar Middle School in Lilburn, Georgia. Griffith was chosen out of over 2,000 nominations and close to 200 online applications. She was honored in a ceremony during the NFL Draft week in New York City.
"Ms. Griffith epitomizes the dedicated teachers we want to recognize and applaud. Her hard work and commitment to educating children about health, nutrition and physical fitness both inside and outside of the classroom sets an example for her fellow educators as well as parents about the importance of fighting childhood obesity by teaching healthy habits at a young age," says Dena Kaplan, senior vice president marketing, NFL Network.
Griffith teaches Physical Education and Health at Berkmar Middle School as well as Science of Nutrition at the University of Phoenix. She is a member of the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, The National Association for Sport and Physical Education, the Georgia Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and the Vice-President of Middle School Physical Education.
Griffith wrote and implemented a middle school fitness plan that is now used by many schools throughout Georgia. She also helped develop the curriculum for a Center for Disease Control's program targeting health enhancing behaviors for kids and helped write the Georgia State Standards for Physical Education. At Berkmar Middle School, she has tried to actively involve family members with events like a Mother-Daughter aerobics class and also encourages physical activity outside of school, sponsoring a running club, a fitness club, soccer program and basketball program. More than 60% of students at her school participate in these activities outside of the school day.
"With adolescent obesity reaching epidemic proportions, it is more important than ever to foster healthy regimens so I design my programs to meet the needs of a new generation. I'm thrilled to be recognized by the NFL Network for my passion of educating students about healthy behaviors and am grateful for the grant for Berkmar Middle School," says Griffith. "As a physical educator, I am proud to share the belief with the NFL Network that we cannot afford to trip at the finish line by putting the health of our nations' kids at risk."
"Dana exemplifies the characteristics of a true advocate for physical education," says Kenney Wells, Principal, Berkmar Middle School, "She empowers students to take responsibility for their health and well-being by providing them with the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful learners and healthy productive adults."
As part of the league's NFL PLAY 60 youth health and fitness campaign, Keep Gym in School is NFL Network's comprehensive national program to boost fitness and physical education in America's middle schools. Through 2010, NFL Network has awarded nearly $620,000 in PE grants to 46 schools. KGIS has trained 7,500 students with NFL players in minicamps and has used PE to motivate and inspire fitness for 125,000 students at 211 schools across 12 school districts.
For more information about Keep Gym in School, visit www.keepgyminschool.com.
About NFL Network: NFL Network airs seven days a week, 24 hours a day on a year-round basis and is the only television network fully dedicated to the NFL and the sport of football. For more information, log on to www.nfl.com/nflnetwork. NFL.com is the exclusive Internet home of NFL Network.
Marnie Black, MBPR
Society of Health and Physical Educators