Reigning royalty, magic help spell an exercise in healthy living

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Reigning Mar-Del Watermelon Queen Courtney Hastings leads students in dancing to the Watermelon Crawl at Healthy Kids Day at Trap Pond. (Sussex County Post/Glenn Rolfe).

LAUREL – On a sunny day, reigning royalty – and a spell of magic – helped to deliver an exercise in healthy living to several hundred Sussex County fourth graders.

Sierra Wright, Miss Delaware Teen USA, emphasized the importance of being active and eating nutritious food, Mar-Del Watermelon Queen Courtney Hastings led the way in dancing to the Watermelon Crawl and Brian Richards, on stage known as the entertaining Nutrition Magician, brought his educational magic act back to Trap Pond Thursday for the 2015 chapter of Healthy Kids Day.

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Flanked on stage by students from North Georgetown Elementary, Brian Richards (the Nutrition Magician) entertains the audience of fourth grade students at Healthy Kids Day at Trap Pond. (Sussex County Post/Glenn Rolfe).

Students got to burn off steam at various exercise stations, learn about wildlife and even explore the shoreline of Trap Pond in search of aquatic life, such as clams and tadpoles.

Trap Pond Partners put on a puppet show and Woodbridge High School’s FFA monitored the bicycle rodeo/safety station. Group stations also featured wildlife education.

Sierra, a 17-year-old senior at Brandywine High School where she is an honor student and athlete, believes an apple a day – coupled with other good eating habits – can keep the doctor away.

“We should be eating vegetables and fruits … making sure we are getting enough protein on a daily basis to make sure you’re not going to get sick,” she said. “My favorite fruit is apples; I bring it lunch every single day. I have a scoop of peanut butter and it is just as good as eating cookies and milk.”

Sierra urged students to refrain from over consumption of soda drinks. Water she said is the best way to quench a thirst.

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West Seaford Elementary fourth graders David Mutschler, left, and Jamie Mifflin find a tadpole skimmed from the shoreline at Trap Pond. At right is Kate Marvel of the St. Jones Reserve. (Sussex County Post/Glenn Rolfe).

“Soda is actually not the best thing for you. That’s why every day you want to make sure you drink lots of water,” she said. “Water is extremely important. It’s good for your skin, and keeps you active. Soda tends to drag you down.”

The reigning title-holder encouraged the several hundred fourth graders to “get involved, get active and stay focused” up through high school – and enjoy outdoors.

From Trap Pond, Miss Delaware Teen, who is bound for West Chester University in pursuit of communications and a hopeful career in broadcasting, headed right back to New Castle County for a softball game.

“As a high school senior, I play softball. I practice every single day,” she said. “So stay active, stay healthy and make you sure you are eating the right kinds of food.”

A large student contingent from North Georgetown Elementary and a class from Georgetown Elementary were among the schools that participated in Healthy Kids Day, which doubled as a venue to showcase nature and the beauty of Trap Pond State Park.

Miss Delaware Teen touched on the natural beauty of parks, sharing her family adventure to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park several years ago where they came face to face with a small black bear and a huge herd of buffalo.

“Yellowstone … it’s an amazing park,” Sierra said. “It’s always good to get outside and explore different areas.”

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Miss Delaware Teen USA Sierra Wright leads students in stretching exercises during her appearance at Healthy Kids Day at Trap Pond State Park. (Sussex County Post/Glenn Rolfe).

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