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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • United Way 'Hungry Ants' project teaches children nutrition

  • The importance of both exercise and good nutrition was demonstrated to second grade students Thursday, Sept. 27, with a “Hungry Ants” project during the United Way Day of Caring.
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  • The importance of both exercise and good nutrition was demonstrated to second grade students Thursday, Sept. 27, with a “Hungry Ants” project during the United Way Day of Caring.
    It was presented to two classes at Eugene Field Elementary School by volunteers and staff with the United Way of the Mark Twain Area.
    After discussing nourishing foods, each class heard a book about “One Hundred Hungry Ants.” Then the students exercised by dancing, adding their own drumbeats and “horns.”
    Later they shared a nourishing snack prepared in their cafeteria, illustrating the “hungry ants” theme with “ants on a log” - celery and peanut butter sprinkled with raisins.
    Before taking their first bite of the crisp celery, students in Robert Landrum’s class were asked to wait until their teacher stepped out into the hall and closed the door.
    Then they were requested to each take a bite of the celery at the same time and see if Landrum could hear their “crunch.” The students, including Kevin Williams and Katie Ribordy, were enthusiastic about this request. (Their teacher said he heard it.)
    The United Way volunteers at Eugene Field were John DiTillo, Shelley Greving of General Mills, Bradley Anderson, a nursing student from Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing, and Dianna McLeod of the Hannibal Board of Education office.
    They were accompanied by Lou Lemen, United Way executive director; and her assistant, Teresa Niemeyer.
    Lemen read the book to Landrum’s class, with the students answering questions as the book progressed.
    Anderson read it to Brandee Smashey’s class, also drawing enthusiastic response from the young students. Before beginning the youngsters were asked if they could name the five food groups, and they were eager to answer.
    When it was time to exercise, they did an impromptu dance while standing at their desks, and some played a drumbeat on their desks, such as Kyliah French in Landrum’s room.
    On this Day of Caring, volunteers helped in all five counties served by the local United Way.
    Lemen was very pleased with the turnout of volunteers, reporting 90 people from 15 agencies arrived at Hannibal-LaGrange University for breakfast prior to doing their Day of Caring projects.
    She added that more than 90 were helping, because “some volunteers had gone straight to their service projects.
    “The program has grown every year and it’s an excellent opportunity for the people that support our campaign to actually see the good works of our funded agencies,” Lemen said. “Then they go back and share that with their co-workers, and people get interested.
    “It’s a win-win situation and it is an excellent example of our theme for this year’s campaign, People Helping People the United Way.”
    Page 2 of 2 - This year’s United Way campaign goal is $565,000.
    The next event will be selling cookies at the Autumn Historic Folklife Festival on Oct. 20 and 21, Lemen said, “and we just completed our first planning session for our Nov. 3 KHMO Radio-United Way auction.”
    See photo gallery for more photos.

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