Ravens players, cheerleaders encourage students to get active
By By Krishana Davis and Times Staff Writer
Sep 30, 2014 | 5:36 AM
ELDERSBURG — Baltimore Ravens teammates Morgan Cox and Gino Gradkowski took their places at the head of opposing teams Monday afternoon.
At "go," Cox and Gradkowski led dueling teams of students and Ravens cheerleaders at Piney Ridge Elementary School through a tag team race — five jumping jacks, ladder agility drills and five rope jumps — to kick-off the school district-wide annual Project ACES program. ACES is short for Active Children Excel in School.
Piney Ridge students, dressed in Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, Torrey Smith and Joe Flacco jerseys, yelled and screamed for the two teams, which battled neck-and-neck, as Ravens mascot Poe hyped the crowd.
But, with mere seconds to spare, Ravens cheerleader Amanda Ross led Gradkowski's team to victory.
Carroll County Public School's Project ACES program has partnered with the national NFL Play 60 campaign, to promote healthy living and active lifestyles for students.
For two weeks, Carroll elementary school studentsare challenged to engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, said Linda Kephart, CCPS supervisor of health and physical education.
Each student was given a purple journal to track progress, she said.
Three students who successfully complete the challenge will be given Ravens home game tickets to the San Diego Chargers game. Five additional students will be chosen to attend a Play 60 luncheon next spring alongside Ravens players.
Piney Ridge students will have a little help with their logs, Principal Craig Dunkleberger said. Students can use their 30-minute recess and weekly physical education class to count toward their 60 minutes per day of exercise, he said.
Dunkleberger said he believes the 600 students at Piney Ridge will receive some added motivation to complete the challenge after having members of the Ravens show up at their school.