DARLINGTON, SC (WBTW) – A school in Darlington County is using technology and exercise to feed children in third world countries.
Each student’s goal is to reach 12,000 steps a day and if they reach that goal, two ready-to-use food packets are given to children in Haiti and Uganda.
“I said well my class moves anyway, all day, so I said why not make the movements even more purposeful?” said teacher Kathryn Wright.
Wright teaches 15 students at Brunson- Dargan Elementary.
“The way I opened the idea to them, I asked ‘Have you ever been hungry?’ Of course, they said ‘Yeah, my stomach growls. I didn’t get a snack. I’m hungry,’” said Wright.
Her class partnered with the UNICEF Kid Power Program that uses movement to feed malnourished children.
“When they saw what real hunger looked like they thought ‘I wasn’t really hungry. That’s a child that is really hungry.’ I had to explain and teach a lesson on being so sick because you’re hungry,” said Wright.
The program sent 15 “kid power bands” used to count their steps, a tablet for the class to keep up with how many food packets they have unlocked and choreographed videos to unlock each mission.
“They would look at each other and say ‘come on let’s feed the kids,’” said Wright.
Students in the class average about 9,000 steps each day. Wright challenged her students to reach 10,000 steps and the first to reach the goal wins a prize.
“Now the challenge is on. They are in constant competition with each other. During recess, no one is sitting down. Everyone tries to run and try to get steps, even if they just stand and waive their arms,” said Wright.
The class began the program on March 1 and so far they have unlocked 41 packets for children in Haiti.
“Our next goal is Uganda. For one child to be completely fed with all of the nutrients that they need—they need 120 packets per child. Our goal is to feed as many as we can,” said Wright.
When the program ends in May, parents can sign up to continue to unlock meals all summer. The class is working as the pilot class for the school they hope to have the program as a school- wide program next year.