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Greenfield Public Schools

Greenfield High senior challenges elementary students to stay active during school vacation

Courtney Kimball, rear, a senior at Greenfield High School, visits Betsy Potter’s first-grade class at Federal Street School to encourage students to stay active over the vacation week, giving them homework, as part of a Moose Youth Awareness program.  (Recorder/Paul Franz)

Courtney Kimball, rear, a senior at Greenfield High School, visits Betsy Potter’s first-grade class at Federal Street School to encourage students to stay active over the vacation week, giving them homework, as part of a Moose Youth Awareness program. (Recorder/Paul Franz)

GREENFIELD — Greenfield High School senior Courtney Kimball issued a challenge last week to Federal Street School students: do something to stay active each day of February school vacation.

Kimball, a 17-year-old Greenfield resident, visited all of the school’s classes on Wednesday to give short presentations on the importance of exercising. She’ll return to the classes later this month to give prizes to any student who completed the challenge this week.

“I grew up doing sports and being active. ... (It’s) very important to me,” said Kimball, who plays soccer and tennis, has trained as a competitive gymnast for 10 years and is a gymnastics coach at the Greenfield YMCA.

“Instead of sitting and playing video games, I challenge them to go do something to stay active,” she said. As part of the presentation, Kimball taught students a game to play with their friends and gave them some ideas for how they could exercise over the vacation.

Kimball’s mother, Julie Kimball, teaches second grade at Federal Street School.

Her presentation is a part of a scholarship she’s vying for through a regional Moose Association that covers Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Students have until the end of February to give three “kid talks” at settings of their choice, said Isaac Mass, a Greenfield resident who leads the association’s youth awareness program.

The program dates back to the 1980s and aims to give positive messages to young children who are 4 to 9 years old, said Mass. Other high school students will review applicants’ projects and rank them to determine the winners.

The state winners will receive $500 to $1,000 in scholarships and receive an all-expenses-paid trip to a national event in May in Gettysburg, Pa. Students will give their presentations at that event for a chance to win up to $12,000.

Mass, whose wife leads the Greenfield High School Student Council, said that other Greenfield students may also be vying for the scholarship but that he won’t know for sure until applications come in later this month. The talks can occur anywhere and it’s up to the students to coordinate with the adults in charge to pitch the presentation and schedule a time.

Greenfield student Rita Pirozhkov took the top prize in Massachusetts in 2012, said Mass. That presentation was also about fitness and coincided with the Olympics run of her older sister, wrestler Elena Pirozhkova.

You can reach Chris Shores at: cshores@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 264

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