The pupils and teachers of Sacred Heart Primary School, Granard had much reason to celebrate recently as they were crowned overall winners (Senior Category) in the National Dairy Council’s Moo Crew national competition.
Renowned sprint hurdler, Derval O’Rourke, who is a World Indoor Champion, multiple European medallist and three time Olympian, was guest of honour at the presentation ceremony in Airfield Farm, Dublin, where the Granard school were the recipients of a sports equipment pack worth €1,000.
Third and fourth class pupils, along with their teachers Grace McGauran and Carmel Shaughnessy McKeon, teamed up to complete the Granard project entry.
A delighted Ms McGauran explained, “The children (and teachers!) will never forget this fantastic experience. Seeing their hard work win a national prize has been so rewarding.”
She added, “We won €1,000 to spend on sports equipment for our school so we are looking forward to getting some excellent new resources.”
Moo Crew is a fun and interactive way for children to learn about the benefits of a healthy, balanced diet and the importance of exercise – to ‘get moo-ving’.
It is supported by the NDC in light of research that showed 37% of girls and 28% of boys aged from 5 – 12 years in Ireland had inadequate calcium intakes in their diet.
Ms McGauran said the pupils learned about the importance of dairy, exercise and a healthy diet, and they spread this message throughout Granard.
She added, “We used the Moo Crew website, www.moocrew.ie, where you can find lots of excellent resources and lesson plans. The children then had to share what they had learned with the rest of the school and the wider community. We made posters, leaflets and displays and gave lessons to the other children in our school and the local playschool. We also went out into the town to teach any adults we could find!”
The children came up with catchy poster slogans and Ms McGauran outlined, “We put these posters up all around the town. We also had 'dairy sampling', giving people samples of milk and cheese- everyone loved it!”
She concluded, “The children learned so much from this cross-curricular project. They gained public speaking skills and confidence, having taught their lessons on dairy, healthy eating and exercise.”
NDC Nutritionist Caroline O’Donovan said the great thing about the Moo Crew programme is that it helps children to learn about the importance of an active lifestyle and healthy, balanced diet; to learn about food groups, about portion sizes and to make smart choices about what they eat and drink.
“Learning these skills at a young age can help to instil good habits and carry them through the teenage years and on into adulthood,” she said.