Students, staff challenged to become healthier

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JAY — The challenge is on. The goal is set.

Jay Elementary School wants to be the healthiest school in Franklin County by spring vacation.

School nurse Jackie Kilbreth kicked off the six-to-seven-week blitz Friday afternoon during a schoolwide assembly. The “5-2-1-0 Goes to School Program” is off and running.

She asked that each day they eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables; limit watching television and computers screens outside of school to two hours or less; do one hour or more of physical activity; and drink zero sugary drinks by having more water and low-fat milk.

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It is a program of the Kids CO-OP at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Children in kindergarten through third grade gathered in the cafeteria for the event.

When Kilbreth announced they had some guests, a crew of staff dressed as vegetables and fruits danced out to the tune of Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.”

Principal Chris Hollingsworth boogied in his blueberry costume, along with teachers Elaine Fitzgerald, Lyn DiSotto, Lynne LeSuer and Carol Reed, each wearing a costume highlighting a different vegetable or fruit.

In a corner, teachers Judy Macomber, Jen France, Heidi Gray and Julie Thornton, secretary Sherri Couture and Julie Thornton cheered for students to be “healthy heroes.”

Kilbreth challenged students and staff to beef up their nutrition and activity levels to make themselves healthy.

She told students she’ll be sending home information to parents and giving them healthy eating and exercise tips.

Kilbreth called on the adults in the school to be role models and give up sugary drinks.

“If everyone begins to practice these healthy habits … you will feel better” and be healthy, Kilbreth said.

The nutrition entertainers started singing the school’s 5-2-1-0 song to the music of  “If You Are Happy and You Know It” before they danced with some students out of the room.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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