Third and fourth class from Clonmore N.S., Templemore, are county winners in the Moo Crew Primary Dairy Moovement programme for 3rd to 6th class primary school children with their “Super. That’s how milk, cheese and yogurt make you feel” project.
The programme was developed by The National Dairy Council in consultation with teachers based on findings that 37% of girls and 28% of boys aged from 5 – 12 years in Ireland have inadequate calcium intakes in their diet. (Ref 1).
Moo Crew is an interactive educational initiative intended to help to bridge that nutritional gap by encouraging children to learn about the importance of the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group, in a fun way.
It was introduced to primary schools after Easter with support for teachers including four different lesson plans, including activities and web resources available at www.moocrew.ie . Classes participating in the programme also had the option to take part in a class-based competition which culminated during National Dairy Week.
School children took part in the initiative in a variety of different ways. For instance some school classes worked together to write songs and raps, create puppet shows or stage a Dairy Day; whilst others generated scrapbooks, posters, wrote poems and created recipes.
Over 127 primary school classes then entered the Moo Crew competition. The organisers have now announced a short list of 26 county finalists.
From this short list, the top three regional classes will win an action packed V.I.P. trip to Causey Farm in Co Meath; whilst the overall winning class, to be announced on 11th June, will win a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 tablet for each child in the class. Each of the remaining 23 county finalists will receive one Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 tablet for use in the classroom.
Caroline O’Donovan, Nutritionist with the National Dairy Council, explains that Moo Crew is underpinned by nutritional expertise, based on the latest guidelines of the Department of Health’s Food Pyramid and links learning about a healthy, balanced diet with the importance of an active lifestyle. It extends to learning about dairy and farming as part of our lives in Ireland, with one of the lesson plans exploring where milk comes from and its journey ‘from farm to fridge’.
Irish boxer, Darren O’Neill, who captained the Irish boxing team at the London 2012 Olympic Games and is also a qualified primary school teacher, has been an ambassador for Moo Crew.