Wareham Middle School student receives grant to spice up cafeteria

By Lydia Goerner | Aug 04, 2017
Courtesy of: Indiana Troupe Indiana enjoys the Fuel Up to Play 60 Summit in Minneapolis this July.

The Wareham Middle School cafeteria may be a little more exciting this school year, thanks to a grant won by 12-year-old Indiana Troupe.

Indiana attended a Fuel Up to Play 60 Summit in July, his second time at the conference after again being picked as Fuel Up to Play 60's Massachusetts' ambassador. State ambassadors are selected by their local Dairy Councils after their applications have been approved and recommended by the national Fuel Up to Play 60 team.

According to its website, Fuel Up to Play 60 is a nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council and NFL to encourage young people to make healthier decisions.

At the summit in Minneapolis, Indiana participated in the Fuel Up Innovation challenge. The 50 students in the challenge had to think of a practice they could implement in their school to encourage healthy eating. Indiana’s idea was to “try to make lunch more exciting,” he said.

“Sometimes kids will walk into a cafeteria and they’ll be bored,” Indiana said. “I want to make the cafeteria more of a fun environment and try to get kids to try new stuff.”

Indiana’s idea to accomplish this was to have trivia about the food and the lunch ladies during lunch, with tickets given for right answers. A certain number of tickets would earn an ice cream at lunch. Indiana was one of 10 winners at the summit for his idea and was awarded a $1,000 grant.

The details of this cafeteria initiative are still being worked out, but Indiana said he hopes it will be implemented this year.

Indiana won another grant for the school last year, said his mom Carla Troupe. He received $1,000 for the Wareham Middle School’s physical education department through Fuel Up to Play 60.

Troupe said Indiana has always loved school and been driven to help make it better.

“It’s almost like he enjoys being at school more than he enjoys being at home,” Troupe said. “He’s always loved his teachers and the administrators. That’s part of his driving force, but he’s very much a born leader and he likes to do grown-up things.”

Indiana’s next project is focusing on the formation of a Wareham Fuel Up to Play 60 team. He wants the team to start in the middle school and reach out to the district and community. This year, he is looking forward to new in-class physical activity breaks called “Brain Breaks.” At the Fuel Up to Play 60 Summit, he learned how to “get that across in a really fun way.”

Indiana participates in a contest to think of a creative way to make healthy eating appealing to kids. (Courtesy of: Indiana Troupe)
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