Unusual guest at Carthage schools helps kids eat healthy

You may see a ninja out trick or treating tonight – and maybe even a ninja warrior. But some Carthage students got to see a ninja warrior T. Rex in action today.

She was helping kids get healthy – which was sometimes a losing battle.

“She did kinda good – she couldn’t get under the bars. She almost fell,” says Phoenix Deckard.

After all, a ninja warrior obstacle course is pretty tough if you’re a dinosaur. While the T. Rex got everyone’s attention – every student got their own chance ducking under bars, running the beam or scaling manufactured hills.

“The best part was when you got to go on the sideways wall,” says Deckard.

This time, it’s the 4th grade at Columbian Elementary School. But the ninja warrior course will travel to every school in the district, challenging roughly five thousand students. The program is part of a three year health project called H.E.R.E. 4 Carthage.

“It’s all about trying to reduce obesity in the city and the first year we’re focusing on kids, education with the kids so we came up with the idea to just kind of take over their p.e. Classes,” says Chanti Beckham, Carthage Comm. Health Coordinator.

They’re also learning about their heart rate and healthy eating.

“Making them a little more aware of what’s got the added sugar in it and they’ve been very receptive,” says Chanti Beckham.

And that’s just the first year of the project. Year two will deal with how Carthage eats.

“Year 2: expanding farmers healthy eating,” says Beckham.

The project will wrap up year three with a focus on activity. That’s building running groups and walking groups and encouraging more movement in general.