Pure energy

PowerUP gets students, families moving in healthy directions

Radio Disney Road Crew Host Rashelle Holmgren, leads Salem Lutheran students in a dance session to Justin Bieber's song, "Baby" (Gazette Photo by Avery Cropp)

Radio Disney Road Crew Host Rashelle Holmgren, leads Salem Lutheran students in a dance session to Justin Bieber’s song, “Baby” (Gazette Photo by Avery Cropp)

The PowerUP program is moving into St. Croix Valley schools with several high energy kickoffs.

One of the first PowerUP events this spring occurred Monday at Salem Lutheran School. The event featured high energy hosts from Radio Disney’s Road Crew who got the students grooving and excited about fruits and vegetables.

The hosts encouraged students to exercise, eat right and live healthy lives. From trivia questions, to competitions and dance sessions to Justin Bieber’s hit “Baby,” and other popular songs, the kids were excited and ready to get started by the end of the session.

“The magic of what a brand like Radio Disney with an energetic host can do is that it makes it exciting for students,” said Marna Canterbury, director of community health and wellness for Lakeview Health. “Kids are used to hearing this kind of thing in school but when they hear this from a place that’s more known for music and dancing it makes it so much more interesting for them.”

PowerUP is a Lakeview Health program that began in late summer and partners with area businesses and schools. PowerUp wants to inspire community change, make it easier for children and their families to eat well with five fruits and vegetables a day, be active and stay healthy. Lakeview made a long-term commitment to this initiative after considering the staggering statistic that the children of today will likely live shorter and less healthier lives than we do as adults today.

The month-long PowerUP School Challenge program so far has started in 15 St. Croix Valley schools, inlcuding public, private and charter schools in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Canterbury said that the School Challenge program has been well-received.

“We continue to hear from schools after these programs come in that they’re struggling to keep up with the demand for fruits and vegetables. The kids eat so many that they have to adjust the quantities that they’re asking for,” she said.

Canterbury added that the group will track the amount of fruit and vegetables that the schools request to see what impact the program has made on the kids going forward. The group will also track students data they turn into their classroom to get a feeling for the impact on a larger scale as well. Students of course will remain unidentified.

“Right now the group is mostly focused on schools and they’ve been great,” Canterbury said. “We’re slowly going to be moving to work sites as well too, Andersen and Cub Foods are on board.”

Students were sent home with an activities bag of sorts which included: a fruit and vegetable tracking system, information for their parents and a recipe ring with healthy kid-friendly recipes to help them with the challenge. The Radio Disney hosts encouraged them to share their day and what they learned with their parents Monday night. Canterbury hopes the kid’s excitement transfers to parents and families going forward as well since PowerUP is meant to be effective in all facets of the community.
For more information on PowerUP visit http://www.powerup4kids.org

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