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Students from Ava R-1 Elementary, Plainview R-8, Skyline R-2, and Ava Victory Academy traveled the path from the farmer’s field to the playing field when University of Missouri Extension’s Food Adventure came to town last week on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 17 and 18.
Along the way, students learned answers to the questions, “Where does food come from?” and “How does it give me energy to help me grow?”
Food Power Adventure, a popular traveling exhibit, gives elementary students an inside look at how the body turns food into energy.
Students start at the pizza farm to learn where farmers grow ingredients such as wheat and tomatoes. At the food packaging area, students inspect labels on milk cartons for nutrition facts.
After a stop at the cafeteria to select healthy foods, students make their way into the digestive system so they can change their food into the power. There they check out the muscle and bone stations.
“Food Power Adventure is the kind of active learning experience students need to help them see how the food choices they make give them the energy they need to play and grow,” said Ann Leonard, physical education teacher at Ava Elementary and Food Power coordinator for Ava R-I.
“In addition to being a fun way for kids to learn about nutrition, the school is also meeting its wellness policy goals and state education standards,” she said.
High School students from LeeAnn Tomlinson’s family and consumer science classes paired up and were allowed to be the presenters for the eight different Food Power stations.
High school assistants included Abby Cooper, Hannah Phinney, Ama Adams, Kelsey Lyons, Bri Tiff, Jorie Garrett, Reagan Taylor, Carmen Potts, Reaunna Snelson, Chelsey Lansdown, Makenna Reagan, Amber Beverlin, Jessica Burress, Hailey Williams, Alvin Stone, Jeff Smalley, Abbie Lansdown, Emily Sterling, Dalton Beck, Kelsey Lawrence and Tori Reagan.
Ava Middle School Student Council members, with advisor Margaret Evans-Frazier, were the escorts for the kindergarten-4th grade students as they traveled through Food Power Adventure.
Those students included Hunter Shelton, Anthony Rosas, Emily Bailey, Dakota Pierce, Caley Wallace, Bailey Ray, Bailey Loge, Sheldon Lewis, Blake Litwiller, Titus Pinckney, Nate Crandall, Kira Collett, Cera Longino, Evan Heinlein, Connor Moran, Weston Stillings, Darci Ray, Sierra Boatman, Belle Giorgianni, Caleb Johnson, Jacob Key, Drake King, Ashton Bewley, Lauren Mendel and Jessica Stafford.
Linda Syferd, Food Power exhibit coordinator-East Region University of Missouri Extension, along with her husband, Don, brought the Food Power equipment from Columbia and set it up, and assisted with the two-day presentation in Ava.
Linda Syferd is actually hired by the University of Missouri Extension and her husband is retired and rides with her all over Missouri to assist with Food Power. They enjoy site-seeing when they go to the various towns with Food Power. When they are close to the Douglas County area, they make sure they stop in at Ava Drug and get their 10-cent ice cream, a bowl of chili or a chicken sandwich. They also enjoy getting the Norman Rockwell calendars.
Linda and Don take full advantage of their time on the road.
The University Of Missouri Department Of Nutritional Sciences created Food Power Adventure with partial funding from USDA’s food stamp program.