FCCLA students teach kids about dental care, nutrition

“Leave me and my sore tooth alone!” the Beast growled at Woodcrest Elementary Spanish Immersion School April 1, when approximately 35 Learning Ventures students watched a new version of his story unfold: “Beauty and the Beast: Tooth or Consequences.”

SLP High School junior Rick Osborne and sophomore Chelsea Young lead a group of students in a game that rewards those who make positive choices for their teeth and sends backwards those who neglect their pearly whites, eating candy or failing to floss, for example.

SLP High School junior Rick Osborne and sophomore Chelsea Young lead a group of students in a game that rewards those who make positive choices for their teeth and sends backwards those who neglect their pearly whites, eating candy or failing to floss, for example.Photo by Olivia Koester

Written and performed by Spring Lake Park High School students involved in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America program, the story focuses on the Beast’s fear of going to see the village dentist, Gaston.

This is not the first time FCCLA students have re-imagined a fairy tale to include elements about proper dental care, according to Lori Henry, FCCLA adviser in Spring Lake Park.

For 11 years, students have created skits with funding from Serve a Smile grants, available through Delta Dental and Minnesota Alliance with Youth.

The grant provides FCCLA with a little less than $650 to create skits and activities pertaining to proper dental care and nutrition. Included in that amount is the value of donated toothbrushes and toothpaste, which FCCLA students distributed to their audience April 1.

Sophomore Chelsea Young wrote “Beauty and the Beast: Tooth or Consequences,” slipping in facts about how important it is to brush one’s teeth twice a day, go in for a check-up every six months and more.

Seven students performed April 1, including Young; freshmen Isabella Moorman; juniors Joshua Anderson, Taylor Gustafson, Rick Osborne and Alex Pierce; and senior Anam Hasan.

After the show and another brief skit about teeth, students asked their young audience members some questions before playing games and working through activities with them.

How long should one brush his or her teeth? Answers ranged from as long as it takes to sing the alphabet to 10 minutes..

Young explained the food groups to the kids, and when she asked them to shout out favorite fruits and veggies. Their answers included watermelon, corn, carrots, etc. But second-grader Isaiah Frei had a more refined palate: Eggplant was his favorite vegetable, he said, and his favorite protein, tilapia, had classmates shaking their heads.

Hasan thinks it’s important for Learning Ventures students to see high school students discussing and modeling healthy behaviors.

“When they see these big kids doing it, they’re more motivated,” she said.

Olivia Koester is at
olivia.koester@ecm-inc.com

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