As Published by Aiken Standard, 2/23/08
By ROB NOVIT, Senior writer
Talks about health lifestyles can be fun, especially when lots of games are included.
That"s the verdict of Greendale Elementary School fourth-graders, who enjoyed weekly visits from Silver Bluff High School Key Club members over the past month.
Earlier this week, the high school students engaged the younger children with relay races and trying to keep one or more volleyballs bouncing on a parachute held by the kids.
"We talked about fitness, wellness, teamwork and hygiene," said Jamie Rautio, who has a fourth-grade sister, Stephanie, at the school.
Advised by teacher Mary Thomas at Silver Bluff, Key Club is an international organization affiliated with the service-learning program, Kiwanis International. The high school students used a formal curriculum, "High Five for Life."
They also talked with the fourth-graders about brushing their teeth properly and encouraging the children to ask their parents about preparing healthier meals, said Autumn Kephart. She especially enjoyed the visit, as she, too, has a sister in fourth grade, Celine.
Several of the other Key Club members also attended Greendale, said the elementary school principal, Rebecca Koelker. They had approached her about doing a service-learning project at Greendale.
"It seems to have worked out real well," she said. "It"s a lot easier for fourth-graders to listen to them. It also gives our kids a chance to see others in high school doing well, giving them something to aspire to. We"re really happy to work with all the Area 5 schools."
Silver Bluff senior Angela Wilson has been involved with Key Club all four years of high school.
"It"s great," she said. "I love serving and helping others. We visit Helping Hands and the We Care (residential) facility. Key Club has taught me to be that shining light, and it"s really had an impact on me during high school."
Contact Rob Novit at firstname.lastname@example.org.