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posted: 11/7/2012 12:07 PM

Bears players, Elk Grove students film 'Play 60' commercial

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  • Roberto Garza, left, and "Peanut" Tillman rush down through a hallway at Ridge Family Center for Learning as students try to catch them with foam tubes.

       Roberto Garza, left, and "Peanut" Tillman rush down through a hallway at Ridge Family Center for Learning as students try to catch them with foam tubes.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Bears quarterback Jason Campbell high-fives elementary school students at Ridge Family Center for Learning after coaching the students through push-up drills.

       Bears quarterback Jason Campbell high-fives elementary school students at Ridge Family Center for Learning after coaching the students through push-up drills.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Third-grader Denis Webster spikes a football after getting a short pass from Chicago Bears cornerback Charles "Peanut" Tillman.

       Third-grader Denis Webster spikes a football after getting a short pass from Chicago Bears cornerback Charles "Peanut" Tillman.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
 

On Sunday, kids around the suburbs watched on TV as Charles Tillman of the Chicago Bears forced four fumbles against the Tennessee Titans, but on Tuesday a group of students in Elk Grove got to meet the Bears star in person and do a workout with him.

Tillman, nicknamed "Peanut," and teammates Roberto Garza and Jason Campbell, interacted with students at the Ridge Family Center for Learning in Elk Grove Village, filming a 30-second national TV spot for NFL Play 60 and Kinect for XBOX.

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Look for the commercial to air Sunday, Nov. 25, during football games on FOX and CBS.

In between shots, the players told the kids what foods they eat to stay healthy, and how to get in 60 minutes of exercise every day.

"Sixty minutes, that's like two episodes of 'Dora the Explorer,'" Tillman said.

Ridge Family Center, which houses 350 students in prekindergarten through fifth grade, won a national Fuel Up To Play challenge through by submitted essays about how the students stay physically fit.

Fuel Up To Play is a partnership between the NFL and the National Dairy Council that works with 73,000 schools around the country.

"The mission is to get kids active and eating more nutritious foods," said Mark Leitner, executive vice president of the National Dairy Council.

Tillman, coming off a huge game Sunday, was a big hit with the students, but he said there's no big secret to his success.

"It's just work ethic, preparation, I'm not trying anything new," Tillman said. Although Tillman now has seven forced fumbles in eight games, he said he doesn't think about statistics, and he said he still thinks there is room for improvement during next week's game against Houston.

Throughout the afternoon students moved from station to station, jumping rope, tossing footballs, running and doing other activities with the Bears players, all while the TV cameras rolled for the commercial.

Because the event was also sponsored by Kinect for XBOX, Ridge Family Center also got a free gaming station for students to play active games at school.

Although the day was mostly about fun -- the school's leaders said the message was clear -- staying healthy is important, but it can be fun too.

"We understand that a strong mind and a strong body go together," said Principal Michelle Ramsey. "They had fun today, but we want them to realize that being active for at least 60 minutes every day and eating healthy food is important for that strong body and mind."

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