Beau Allen, a Philadelphia Eagles nose tackle for the past three years, visited Mispillion Elementary School on March 22, for the Fuel Up to Play 60 program sponsored by the National Dairy Council, the NFL, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture designed to encourage students to lead healthier lives. He was accompanied by Aimee Beam of the Department of Education, Calvin Parson and Jason Agular of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, Dave Marvel of the Farm to School Program and State Representative Harvey Kenton.
“The goal and purpose of the visit was to promote the benefits of school breakfast and to celebrate National Breakfast Week,” Teresa Wallace, Principal of Mispillion Elementary said. “Beau discussed the importance of school breakfast and physical activity with students and community leaders. He focused on school breakfast as the key driver of helping students fuel greatness inside and outside of school.”
Ms. Wallace said that Mr. Allen discussed how school breakfast helps students be more attentive, behave better and achieve higher test scores. All schools in Milford School District, including Mispillion, offer free breakfast to all students. Ms. Wallace said that 28 percent of their students choose to eat breakfast while 80 percent choose to eat lunch at school.
“This is the trend throughout the country,” Ms. Wallace said. “Some of the reasons breakfast has such a low participation is that students want to play or spend time with friends instead of coming to breakfast or they just aren’t hungry first thing in the morning. Other students feel rushed in the morning, as if there isn’t enough time for breakfast. There is also still the stigma that only poor students eat breakfast at school, but that isn’t true at all.”
Ms. Wallace said that Mispillion has been very active in the Fuel Up to Play 60 Program and it will be the fourth consecutive year that the school has won the Touchdown School Award for their participation. She said the students were thrilled to have Mr. Allen visit the school and be able to ask them questions. Students asked Mr. Allen how much chocolate milk he drank as well as how many fruits and vegetables he ate every day, demonstrating a culture of health and wellness at the school.
Mr. Allen was a seventh-round draft pick from Wisconsin in 2014 and has spent his NFL career with the Eagles organization. In his first two NFL seasons, Mr. Allen contributed as a member of the defensive line rotation in all 32 games. Never missing a game in college, he finished his University of Wisconsin career with 94 tackles and eight sacks enroute to becoming a two-time All-Big Ten honorable mention selection in the 2012-13 season. He began playing football in the seventh grade as a two-way lineman and tight end for the Minnetonka Skippers. His father, Matt is the senior vice-president of sales for a cosmetic company and his mother, Susie, is a nurse.
Health and fitness are an important part of Mr. Allen’s life, not just because he needs to be healthy for his career. When he was 12, his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 39. In order to fight the disease, she had a double mastectomy and underwent chemotherapy. Today, she is “cancer-free, doing great, is healthy, active and attending my games,” Mr. Allen has said. His trademark long hair is an ode to his mother’s battle, going so far as to braid it and add a pink ribbon during games in October of 2014. He said his entire family shaved their head in support of his mother when she began chemotherapy and he then began growing it long in order to donate it to organizations that make wigs for cancer patients.
“Matthew won’t stop talking about the Philadelphia Eagles player that came to school,” Ms. Wallace said student Andi Winkleblach told her. “He was impressed with Beau.”