Students Granted The Power To Save Lives


All around the world, there are millions of those who go without food on a daily basis. One Sioux Falls classroom is taking ‘steps’ to help change that.

Through the Innovation in Education Grant, R. F. Pettigrew Elementary school was granted the funds to participate in UNICEF’s Kid Power.

Kid Power gives kids the chance to save lives one step at a time. Literally.

For every 2,400 steps, the kids earn PowerPoints.

“We get enough steps and then we get power points and if we get enough power points we get  RUTF packets,” Fourth Grader Liam Neilson said.

“It’s kind of like a protein pack that gets sent to a country that’s in need of those,” Fourth Grader Mason Tranberg said.

Ten PowerPoints unlocks one therapeutic food packet, 150 packets average out to one life saved.

There are opportunities everywhere for kids to earn points.

“We do stuff, like, in gym and recess,” Neilson said.

“We’ve done dancing videos and that kind of gives us a lot of steps,” Tranberg said.

“Sometimes I like to play tag with my friends and, when we go to the gym, we run around a lot,” Fourth Grader Brady Hausvik said.

“Each day, or a couple times a week, we’ll sync – I’ll sync their bands to my phone and then that accumulates all of their points together and so that we can see where we’re at with our power points and how many packets we’ve earned,” Fourth Grade Teacher Cathie Vortherms said.

But some kids like taking their efforts a step beyond the classroom. Fourth-grader Mason Tranberg has one power band for class and one for home.

“Just the fact I can do it twice, and over the summer I run around so much more. So it’s actually warm and I can run outside, and I do a lot with my neighbor in the summer,” Tranberg said.

They started counting in October and, in a short time, the class has racked up a large number of packets.

“I know that we’re in the five million for steps. But we have earned 213 RUTF packets. So we’ve saved one life so far,” Vortherms said.

Giving them the ‘power’ to change the world.

“I feel good because you’re saving lives and having fun at the same time,” Hausvik said.

“The fact that you can know that you’re helping when you’re like actually being active,” Tranberg said.

They need to earn 300 RUTF packets to save two lives. They’re currently at 213. To learn more about UNICEF’s Kid Power click here.

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