The COVID-19 pandemic has changed normal routines for everyone, especially for students, who are now at home thanks to social distancing measures. That also means popular extracurricular activities at school, such as Fuel Up to Play 60, are on the backburner indefinitely.

Though that’s the unfortunate reality, it’s still not stopping one Fuel Up to Play 60 student ambassador from taking matters into his own hands.

With assistance from his teachers, Samarth, a 13-year-old in eighth grade at Charles Boehm Middle School in Yardley, Pennsylvania (a suburb northeast of Philadelphia), has created an interactive Fuel Up to Play 60 Google Classroom for his fellow students to follow and update with Chromebooks provided by the Pennsbury School District.

Among the things Samarth is doing for his classmates is providing tips for quick workouts like jogging, things to do to take a break from homework and make-your-own smoothie recipes with milk, fruits and vegetables.

“Through the Google classroom, I’ve been able to share the important Fuel Up to Play 60 information we would get in school,” Samarth said.

“I felt it was important so we can eat healthy and keep our bodies active during these times at home with the pandemic. You can jog around the neighborhood or hop on a treadmill for a few minutes. And including the healthy eating aspect of the program, I thought it was a good idea to add the smoothie recipes. They’re easy to make at home.”

Though Samarth, a Fuel Up to Play 60 president at his school for the last two years, has taken the initiative to keep his fellow classmates posted on tips and opportunities, he credits his teachers and Fuel Up to Play 60 advisors for providing yet another platform to participate.

“With the Google Classroom, the teachers and advisors allowed me access to set this up. I’m almost like the teacher of the Fuel Up to Play 60 student classroom,” Samarth explained. “It allows me to issue updates and announcements and activities, like the workouts and the healthy eating with dairy, for the students. And the cool thing is it’s not just for my school, it’s for the entire district.”

This is just Samarth’s latest project during his tenure as a member of Fuel Up to Play 60.

He’s been involved with the program since the fourth grade and went to his first Fuel Up to Play 60 student summit two years ago, when he was in the sixth grade. It was at that student summit he helped earn a Grab and Go Breakfast Cart for his school.

“Honestly, my favorite thing about being in the program is the ability it gives the youth to have a voice in the school and in the community,” Samarth said. “It lets us empower other children and students and show them just how important the workouts and healthy eating and dairy is.

“I know some other schools may not have the same things other schools do. And sometimes it not easy to find a program like Fuel Up to Play 60 that provides that provides the opportunities to speak up and have a voice and make change happen. So that’s why I enjoy it so much.”

Even while at home while school is closed, Samarth has ideas on new programs he can bring to his school with Fuel Up to Play 60. For example, a goal of his is to create a food waste recycling program at school.

“It’s been a long, fun journey,” Samarth said. “I look forward to keeping going into the future!”