New Jersey School 15 Gets “Giant” Shoutout from #15 For Physical Activity

New York Giants’ #15 wide receiver, Golden Tate, gives a shoutout to Paterson School 15 for increasing student physical activity

Located in Paterson, NJ, School 15 is a Full-Service Community School with about 700 students from preschool through fifth grade. Teachers in the P.E. Department, along with the support of their principals, eagerly accepted the opportunity for their students to take part in the NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project.

The project combines the NFL PLAY 60 program, which encourages students to get active at least 60 minutes a day, with FitnessGram by The Cooper Institute – the leading fitness assessment for students across the country. These two programs work together to make physical activity fun while also measuring their fitness progress using evidence-based standards.

Principal Ramona Garcia and Vice-Principal Helen Guarente wanted to make sure students were successful. Due to the lack of opportunity to play outside or take part in other activities, the P.E. team had to get creative.

“We wanted to make it clear that fitness can be fun,” said Alexa DeRose, P.E. teacher at School 15. “If you introduce activity into their daily routines at a young age, they will enjoy movement.”

The teachers found innovative ways to implement various fitness challenges into their daily lessons while keeping track of student progress to help show the difference physical activity can make along the way.

“We danced, raced and had contests where students didn’t recognize that we were exercising until we reflected on the lesson,” said DeRose. “That to me is a successful class; fun and challenging.”

Golden Tate, #15 wide receiver and Super Bowl Champion for the New York Giants, gave a big shout out on social media to School 15 for their efforts to increase physical activity as part of the NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project.

The shelter-in-place orders have been difficult for everyone, including teachers who miss their students. The team is excited to send daily workouts to all students, mindfulness activities to help students with stress or anxiety at this time and multiple health lessons on germs and disease.

“This is not a time to take a break, but a time to make progress and enhance their education best we can with the lack of technology in our district,” said teacher Allison Jones. “Our students excel in the FitnessGram assessment and we have no doubt they are trying their best to stay on track at home.

“I wish we had a countdown to the return of school,” said teacher Holly Rispoli. “I want to see my students and be sure they continue to grow and love fitness just like I do.”


Written by The Cooper Institute

The Cooper Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1970 by Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, to promote life-long health and wellness worldwide through research, education and advocacy. By improving public health, The Cooper Institute helps people lead longer, healthier lives now and #WELLintothefuture.