Bears player to visit Plainfield school
By Frank Vaisvilas Correspondent October 13, 2013 1:12PM
Chicago Bears strong safety Craig Steltz (20) reacts after the Bears recovered a fumble by Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)
Updated: November 14, 2013 6:54AM
PLAINFIELD — Timber Ridge Middle School students would challenge their teachers in activities such as push-up contests and in the process earned a visit from Bears safety Craig Steltz.
Steltz is scheduled to visit the school for an hour Tuesday. Timber Ridge physical education teacher Linda Reynolds said he will lead football training drills for the students.
He’ll also participate in other, lighter, activities, such as sitting on a balloon to try to pop it.
The school was selected as the state winner of the NFL’s and Midwest Dairy Council’s Fuel Up to Play 60 Activity Scavenger Hunt.
The NFL encourages children to play for 60 minutes a day through this program while the Midwest Dairy Council encourages children to eat healthy. Both have the goal of preventing childhood obesity.
“That’s a great message for kids,” said Reynolds, adding that the reward of having an NFL player visit their school provides great motivation.
To win the scavenger hunt, Reynolds said students had to complete a list of challenges issued by the program. Challenges included having jump-rope contests with other students and teachers, playing sports and building a human pyramid.
Reynolds runs the program at Timber Ridge with physical education teacher Morgan Nichol, who introduced the program at the school last year.
A core group of very motivated 7th grade students also helped the school win last year and earn a visit from Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett.
“It was probably the most fun time the kids ever had,” Reynolds said.
Besides participating in activities with Bennett, the children also celebrated his birthday with him. They even brought a cake.
“He let one of the kids smash the cake in his face,” Reynolds said.
That group of seventh-grade students last year were the eighth-grade students this year who helped Timber Ridge win again.
Nichol hopes to keep the win streak going.
“We have a new group of seventh-graders we’re working with,” Nichol said.
Besides visits from NFL players, the schools also win grant money for various projects when students excel in the program.
So far, Reynolds said, the school has won money through the program for projects such as a greenhouse for a vegetable garden, which will soon be built and also a climbing wall.