On Wednesday, June 22, a hip-hop-style song reverberated from a television monitor in the elementary cafeteria as the 90 children enrolled in summer school did "The Bone Dance."
"The kids absolutely love it," Title I reading teacher Theresa Wiggs said of the dance video. "Every morning, every kid is up after eating breakfast and ready to do the dance."
Bookkeeper Lorie Jenkins said the district used part of the grant money to buy the catchy video that encourages children to rotate their cranium, move their torso or shake their pelvis like Elvis.
When the music starts, the children already are lined up in rows, intently trying to match the movements on the video, unaware they are learning about muscles and bones, while simultaneously burning a few calories.
The district received $1,500 through the Midwest Dairy Council's Fuel Up for Summer Fun grant, which is intended to help bridge the gap between school years by providing nutritious food during summer school. The district was one of six in Missouri to receive the grant.
Besides doing two five-minute fitness drills during the day, the students also tried new foods, such as cream cheese pizza, fruit smoothies and yogurt parfaits each Friday. To encourage the children to eat at least three servings of dairy daily, the district also had them taste-test an array of cheeses and add Ovaltine powder to milk for flavor variety.
Midwest Dairy Council grant information states that the council is committed to assisting Missouri schools increase participation in summer food service programs "so students return to school in the fall, healthy and ready to learn."
At the end of the four-week program, children were rewarded with T-shirts, also supporting the theme of healthy eating and exercise.