Elementary Students Get Fit to Help Hunger through UNICEF Kid Power Program
Published on 4/18/16
District News LeMoyne Elementary School McKinley-Brighton Elementary School
Third, fourth and fifth graders at LeMoyne Elementary, as well as fourth graders at McKinley-Brighton, are taking part in a unique program to help them learn about the importance of getting active while unlocking therapeutic food packets for children in developing nations.
UNICEF Kid Power is a program of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and is underway in 13 cities this spring to allow students to get active and save lives. Through Kid Power, students received a Kid Power activity band, allowing them to earn points for their physical activity. For approximately every 24,000 steps they take, a packet of therapeutic food is unlocked for a malnourished child around the world.
Teachers received a tablet that they could use to measure progress class by class, and they even received a collection of curriculum, media and supporting materials. These interdisciplinary lessons were standards-aligned and included kinesthetic learning and international games to help them learn while they earned Kid Power points. Students worked together with their classmates to complete lessons, games and activities and to see who could take the most steps!
Dr. Teresa MacDonald, Director of the Sport and Human Development Institute at Syracuse University, led the effort to bring the program to SCSD schools. Thanks to a partnership between the University and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, the University was able to provide funds for 200 SCSD students to participate in the program.
“Our students at SU benefit because they gain experience with sports philanthropy and providing support to the City schools,” Dr. MacDonald explained. “And the City students get to have fun while learning about malnutrition around the world. This is a program about kids helping kids, so it’s nice for the kids in the community to get to take on this philanthropic work as well.”
While the program’s kickoff ran through the month of March, students can continue getting active to unlock additional food packets through the end of the school year. For students, this activity is providing a valuable world perspective.
“Our students learned that they can be ambassadors for people around the world and contribute internationally through the things they do in their own communities,” LeMoyne principal Jason Armstrong said. “It also helps promote a more active lifestyle by pairing their fitness activities to the contribution of therapeutic food to malnourished children around the world.”
Together, our students at LeMoyne and McKinley-Brighton took enough steps to send more than 700 packets of therapeutic food to developing nations. Great work to all of our active and engaged students!