Children go public with love of exercise


March 27, 2001|By Debra Taylor Young | Debra Taylor Young,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MARCH 20 WAS a big day for the preschoolers at Rhymes and Reasons Day Care Center in Eldersburg. The group took a school bus to Maryland Public Television studios in Owings Mills early that morning to participate in the filming of "Teletubbies Get Up and Go! First Annual Exercise Day."

The program is part of an initiative to fight childhood obesity and promote health and fitness, according to promoter Tina Waganer of itsy bitsy Entertainment Co., which markets the popular children's show "Teletubbies." Waganer's children Carlie, 4, and Nicholas, 5, who attend the Eldersburg center, participated in the taping.

The children of Rhymes and Reasons Day Care were joined by Deer Park Children's Center Inc. of Baltimore County for the event. The groups met at MPT, where the children were filmed as they did calisthenics with an exercise video of the Teletubbies as part of MPT's Ready to Learn program.

To prepare for the taping, the children exercised to the video for several days in advance, said Beverly Pierce, a teacher at Rhymes and Reasons.

Many media outlets were on hand photographing, taping and interviewing the children, who were anxious to exercise and undaunted by the attention. Susan Oskin of MPT conducted taped interviews filmed by cameraman Stephen Gradin, while audio technician David Wainwright held a boom microphone.

Tanner Stine, 6, and Chase Stine, 4, were not intimidated by the technical props as they were interviewed by Oskin.

Chiamka Kori, Dominique Griffin, Ayanni Alexander and Gerald Talley, all age 3, were eager participants in Teletubbies exercises such as "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes."

After their exercise, the children enjoyed cookies, raisins and juice. The group managed a short rest period during the production to demonstrate healthy habits to the preschoolers and caregivers who would be watching the broadcast.

Other activities around the room included fitness-themed coloring, and a storytelling session conducted by Deidra Webb of MPT, who read books about exercise.

Photographs of the children with their faces in a Teletubbies cutout were taken by MPT staff, and distributed to the two centers. Each child received a gift bag to take home, which included a workout towel and water bottle.

The broadcast ended with a balloon drop of more than 100 balloons. Reaction by the preschoolers was a unanimous "Awesome!"

Broadcast times for "Teletubbies Get Up and Go! First Annual Exercise Day" will be announced. Check local listings.

Information: 410-581-4190.

Preschoolers visit seniors

Nineteen preschoolers from the Catholic Charities Head Start program on Klees Mill Road visited Continuum Care Center in Sykesville Friday.

The event was organized by Kimberly Papi, director of marketing and admissions, and Novella McDermott, activities director at Continuum Care, and Head Start teacher Michelle Barrick.

Offering a positive perspective on the care given in modern nursing homes, the program could be the first of many conducted at the center, according to Papi.

The children entertained residents with songs, rhymes and stories. They also helped conduct the regular exercise session for the seniors and performed dances such as the Chicken Dance, the Hokey Pokey and Happy Feet.

The seniors and the children were well entertained, as were parents Rhonda Bizzell, Carolyn Lizor, Sabrina Moals and Mary Barnes, as they watched Anthony Bizzell, Jamie Lizor, Serina Moals and Cody Barnes, all age 4, interact with residents.

The children stayed for lunch, mingled and sat on laps during their visit.

The center offers a number of programs throughout the day, including bingo, crafts, movies and gardening for the residents.

"Nursing homes are not what they used to be," said Papi, who is also a nurse. "We want people to know it's OK to come and visit."

Information: 410-795-1100.

Children's clothing swap

A spring-summer kids clothing swap will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Elders Baptist Church on Liberty Road in Eldersburg.

Outgrown spring and summer clothes may be exchanged for good used clothing. The swap does not include shoes or toys.

Door prizes will be given away. The event is free.

Information: 410-795-9481.

Debra Taylor Young's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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