Clinton Primary School kicked off another series of Color Me programs Thursday with a trip down The Yellow Brick Road. Using money from a USDA grant, students from kindergarten and first grade were treated to an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz in which all of the main characters seek the great and powerful Oz for yummy and nutritious fruits and vegetables.
The characters in the play included Deanna Gilbert, the Director of Child Nutrition as the Scarecrow; Geri Maxfield, the nurse at Beryl Henry Elementary as the Tin Man; Renee Sells, School District R.N. as the Cowardly Lion; CPS Principal Kendall Montgomery as Dorothy; Glenda Newton, nurse at CPS as the Good Witch; teacher Laura Gray as the Bad Witch, teacher Pam Miller as Aunte Em and Superintendent Bobby Hart as the Wizard. Teacher Chad Morris served as emcee and Principal Montgomery’s dog Penny agreed to play Toto.
The students seemed to really enjoy the presentation. They were each given a packet of grapes to take with them to snack on in their class.
At the end of the play a giant grant check from the USDA for $365,985.44 was brought on stage with the actors. The money will be used to put on Color Me presentations for Hope School District elementary students encouraging them to eat healthy. During each presentation the students will be given different fruits and vegetables to try.
Principal Kendall Montgomery says this is the sixth year for the Color Me program. She says Child Nutrition Director Deanna Gilbert has been recognized on a national level for the program in Hope.
Gilbert says she feels the program is working to encourage children to eat better and to get parents more involved in their child’s nutrition.
“I feel like we have impacted our community, and our students moreso, because with all of our new meal patterns the USDA came up with this year, the kids are eating their fruit,” says Gilbert. “They’ll eat their fruit before they eat anything else on their tray.”
There will be more presentations to grades kindergarten through sixth before the end of the school year. Some of the programs will involve people in the community with presentations on good nutrition.