School assemblies thrill kids of every age!
Picture this: a gym-full of elementary school-age students, anticipating the arrival the legendary Healthy MR. POTATO HEAD character. The excitement builds when “Jumpin’ Jules” and “Awesome Allen,” the famed spud’s energy-packed partners, pop onto stage and rev up the crowd. Now, imagine the shrieks of delight when Healthy MR. POTATO HEAD dances onto the stage, beginning a 30-minute, interactive, Radio Disney produced “Potato Power Rockin’ Recess” school assembly.
I know my description doesn’t do justice to the in-person experience. I mean, I was there last week – and my ears are still ringing. The last in a three year-long series of school assemblies held across the United States was performed on December 14 at Chinook Trail Elementary in Colorado Springs, CO. The month prior we were at Woodrow Wilson Elementary in West Allis, a suburb of Milwaukee, WI.
The star of the show is definitely the potato industry’s “spokespud,” and, under license from the Hasbro Properties Group, Healthy MR. POTATO HEAD has an important mission in mind. Donning sneakers, a baseball cap, and carrying a water bottle, he wants kids, teachers, and parents to know that the potatoes they love are full of essential vitamins and minerals, providing the nutrients needed to get up and get fit!
So, students learned new nutrition vocabulary words like potassium, fiber and vitamin C. The teachers danced – some even on stage! The kids grooved to the Potato Power Dance. Prizes were awarded for good answers. Plus, we discovered kids can automatically tell you a half-dozen ways to eat potatoes…and they love them! So, Mom, how about serving potatoes tonight???
As I mentioned, the Potato Power Rockin’ Recess was performed in six other cities across the country: San Jose, Denver, Atlanta, Harrisburg, St. Louis and Grafton. The idea behind the school assembly series was to tie it to a larger nutrition campaign, one launched during the 2005 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, when Healthy MR. POTATO HEAD sprinted down the streets of NY for the first time as a giant balloon. This Thanksgiving, which my fellow blogger, Cheryl Koompin, wrote about earlier this month, was the balloon’s final parade appearance, yet he will still help usher in 2008 as the International Year of the Potato, as designated by the United Nations. It’s been a delight to promote a character that communicates nutrition in a way that resonates with so many people in all stages of life.
Before I sign off, I really want to make sure my state potato organization colleagues (friends!) know how much I truly appreciate their help this year in making their state assemblies successful. The USPB partnered with the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association and the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, which all provided promotional and educational materials to all the students and classrooms. This way, students, parents and teachers have reminders that the nutrition-packed potato was proudly grown in their own state.