Kid Power is not only the role created and played by dynamic performer Bruce Wilson, but also the force that youngsters can use to achieve goals. “Operation Lunch Line,” the multi-media show starring Kid Power that was recently presented to kindergarten through third grade students in all local public schools as part of Darke County Center for the Arts’ Arts In Education series, not only entertained with its songs and humorous storytelling, but also inspired students to use their super power to make the health-enhancing choices necessary to help them feel and look great.
Before the show started, anticipation buzzed around the auditorium as each member of the audience was handed a pair of 3-D glasses. After an introductory number informing the kids that “the food that’s on your plate” contributes to whether or not “you can feel great,” the entire audience joined Kid Power on an amazing three-dimensional journey inside the body of a boy named Max who doesn’t feel so great due to his own poor choices when it comes to diet and exercise.
The students learned that each person’s body contains trillions of cells, which “feel great” when you eat healthy foods that supply energy. The human diet of grains, vegetables, fruits, and proteins is largely derived from plants. Energy from the sun nourishes plants that in turn store energy which when consumed by humans provides nutrients essential for health. In order for the human body to utilize those nutrients, the vitamins, minerals, water, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats supplied by these foods are dissolved by enzymes, a process enthusiastically demonstrated by student volunteers crawling through the small intestine represented by a long blue tube to show how enzymes act upon a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, all accompanied by rousing music and cheers from the crowd.
Calories measure the energy that enters the body when you eat, as well as the energy that exits the body when you exercise; balancing that exchange can be challenging. 175 million Americans are known to take in too many calories daily. According to Kid Power, the solution to maintaining that necessary balance is “eat a little less, move a little more.” Conversely, 18 million Americans do not consume enough calories each day, in part due to a culture that glorifies thinness. This problem was addressed by Kid Power playing a fashion designer lauding the Thinnest Super Model on the Planet, satirically urging his audience to ignore the misery to be found in eating disorders to look just like the pancake-thin stuffed doll with whom he cavorted around the stage.
Following a “brain break” where everyone was encouraged to move around and benefit from a little exercise, natural foods were compared with processed food, described by Kid Power as “an industrial product containing lots of stuff that is not a nutrient and a lot of which is sugar.” Kid Power cited high fructose corn syrup as the most fattening and least nutritious of these processed food products, and urged his audience to read the labels listing what is actually in the food that one ingests.
However, even natural, healthy foods can be consumed in amounts too large to be properly utilized; portion control is another factor in maintaining the proper balance that contributes to health. Kid Power illustrated this truism in another delightful musical number, “Life Is Not an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet.” The audience then got active, learning an energetic dance routine—moving, sliding, and “going crazy” in a quite civil manner. Kid Power praised his audience for demonstrating “extreme kid power,” a power which they all could use to “feel great!”
Kid Power told his audience about the comic book that they could download for free from his Website to remind them of all they had learned. Teachers and students alike indicated that they would take advantage of the opportunity to keep that recently gained wisdom close at hand, so that the powers they had acquired during Kid Power’s performance were honed and sharpened for a lifetime of service, affirming the lasting power of DCCA’s Arts In Education program.
Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.