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Fuel Up to Play 60

WR Brice Butler and RB Latavius Murray, along with four Raiderettes, visited Madison Park Academy Tuesday morning as part of Fuel Up to Play 60, which encourages kids to eat healthy and stay active. The Oakland Raiders, in conjunction with the California Milk Advisory Board, awarded the Oakland Unified School District a $10,000 "Hometown" Grant.

The Oakland Raiders are familiar with Madison Park Academy. In 2012, they helped build the school's new turf field. "To have an actual field where our kids can work out and not be embarrassed, and feel like they're part of the community and culture, means everything for this community," said Madison Park Academy Principal Dr. Lucinda Taylor.

Butler and Murray started the day by speaking to the students about being aware of what they eat and drink to fuel their bodies. The second-year players took questions from the students, and then with the help of the Raiderettes, led a Junior Training Camp on the Madison-Sobrante Park Field.

WR Brice Butler and RB Latavius Murray participated in Fuel Up to Play 60 and presented OUSD with a Hometown Grant.

"We're here at Madison Park Academy," said Butler. "Me and Latavius are out here to show the kids a good time, tell them about eating food properly, eating healthy foods to fuel their body up, and going out and making sure they do physical activities 60 minutes a day."

Having the Raiders spend time with the students, even if just running around and having fun, has a significant impact according to Taylor. "It means that our community partners are still committed to making an investment in our students," said Taylor. "It means that our kids are being exposed to real quality information about health and nutrition. But most importantly, it says that they are worth something when individuals come from our community that stand out and show up at their school. So I think it brings a sense of value. It brings a sense of purpose. I think it also says that they're important."

Murray wanted to make sure he could be a positive influence on the students. "Growing up as a kid, things like this weren't available as far as knowing how important it was to eat right and to stay," said Murray. "I think if kids can get that reminder, especially from some guys that are in the NFL, I think that means a lot and it's something that sticks with them as they grow up."

The kids had fun running around on the field and participating in football drills. It was a nice break from their daily routine. "They're so energetic; they're so fun," said Raiderette Chanel. "It's not just sitting in the classroom, they actually get to come out here and play with real cheerleaders and NFL players, so it's a whole new different day for them."

Taylor was grateful to see her students enjoying themselves with the Raiders. "You can look around; there are smiles on their faces. They look good. They have shirts on and caps on for the Raiders," said Taylor. "They feel valued and I think any individual, young or old, wants to feel like they are worth something and having the players here and having the Oakland Raiders have a continual partnership with the school just says they are valued."

Murray and Butler understand the importance of their NFL platform and, on-the-field results aside, wanted to give back to their community. "I always want to participate because it's always about giving back to the community. We play on Sundays and everybody watches us but this is kind of a vice versa type deal and we're coming out for them," said Butler. "Just showing kids and their parents that it's not just about us playing football on Sundays, it's not just about us practicing; it's about the community too and we want them to feel comfortable with us in that matter."

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