Kids get a head start on nutrition and fitness

Some three dozen Cummins Power Generation staff members spent the day with Head Start kids, coaching youngsters on an obstacle course, high-fiving their victory and encouraging them to choose a handful of carrot sticks or an apple for a treat rather than a sugary pop or chocolate candy bar.

 Cummins Power Generation management team member Paul Hovells coaches a child along the hopping path as Head Start staff guide youngsters on to the next steps of the obstacle course. The activity was part of the March 6 nutrition and fitness event.Photo by Sue Austreng

Cummins Power Generation management team member Paul Hovells coaches a child along the hopping path as Head Start staff guide youngsters on to the next steps of the obstacle course. The activity was part of the March 6 nutrition and fitness event.Photo by Sue Austreng

The March 6 nutrition and fitness event, staged at the Anoka/Washington County Head Start Family Development Center in Coon Rapids, celebrated the partnership with Cummins that Head Start has enjoyed for going on two years now.

“Cummins really makes this happen. They provide the funds, they send people to help out. It’s a really good event and we love the partnership,” said Jessica LaFine, family and community partnerships coordinator for Head Start.

Throughout the day, children playfully practiced fitness, leap-frogging along a hopping path, sliding down a cushioned slide, pacing the length of a balance beam resting on the floor, jumping on a miniature trampoline and then finishing with a boogy and a sing-along to a healthy eating tips tune.

Near the Family Development Center entrance, a booth offered parents and families a collection of healthy eating and nutrition tips and trivia, too.

“This is what Cummins is all about: helping out, giving back – and we’re glad to be here,” said Cummins team member Paul Hovells.

Teammate Colleen Goggin echoed his words and said, “There’s nothing more important than getting kids started out correctly. This is one way we can help do that,” she said.

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

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