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A Big Step

BU students motivate children at Roger Clap Elementary School to get fit


In playground dynamics, sometimes the little kids need a boost from the big kids. A College of Communication class recently gave a $5,000 push toward a physical education program at Dorchester’s Roger Clap Elementary School.

On April 13, 19 BU students hosted Small Feet, Big Steps at the school to educate the children about the benefits of staying physically fit and eating right. Small Feet, Big Steps helped the school achieve its Bay State Games Kids Fitness Challenge by motivating the children to complete 30 minutes of physical activity, making the school eligible for a $500 grant toward establishing a physical education program.

The COM students presented the school with a check for $300 and more than $5,000 in additional donations.

“It was so generous of BU to come out and choose Roger Clap since we do not have a physical education program,” says Mary Tormey-Hamilton, the school’s principal. “The BU students were really enthusiastic and patient and had a great time with the kids. The students loved going home with T-shirts, a nutritional snack, and prizes.”

Terry Holland, Australia’s women’s skeleton team head coach for the 2010 Olympic Games, gave a lecture; there were hip-hop dance lessons with Michelle Flores, a member of BU’s Fusion dance team; soccer drills with Shannon Mullen, BU Division I soccer player; stretching yoga exercises; brief seminars about the food pyramid; a healthy snack; and 30 minutes of physical activity.

BU’s community relations class received donations for the event from Shaw’s, Stop & Shop, BU’s Fitness and Recreation Center, Barnes and Noble, Trader Joe’s, the Fusion Dance Team, and Bazaar, Inc.

"This project was really the brainchild of my class, and together they put on an excellent program for a well-deserving school," says Jo O’Connor, a COM associate professor of public relations. "It is important that my students be able to share their talents and knowledge with others while giving back to the community in which Boston University operates, and they did just that."

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