MORRISONVILLE - When it comes to exercise, there's more than one way to get a good workout.
Students from Morrisonville Elementary School found that out after the school was recently awarded a $1,600 grant from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield of Utica. The grant, applied for by school nurse Laura Jennings, funded square dancing lessons from a local professional square dance caller during their physical education classes. The week-long program culminated with a family night where students showcased what they learned.
"It went great," said Jennings. "It was really geared toward each age level. The kids loved it."
Jennings said she particularly loved the interaction between students and their families the last day of the program.
"Grandparents danced with kindergartners and fifth-graders. It was pretty cute," she said.
The idea behind the program was to demonstrate other ways for kids to stay in shape in addition to traditional methods, said Jennings. For the past five years, Jennings has secured grants through Excellus BlueCross BlueShield to do just that.
"Hopefully, some people will pursue square dancing from here as another alternative to regular exercise," said Jennings. "Which is always my goal with everything I've done with these grants."
In 2008, the school received a Dance Dance Revolution machine through one of its most recent grants.
"We still use that today," she said. "We try to do something with the money that we can keep doing year after year."
Leftover funding from this year's grant will be used to bring back the square dance caller this fall to teach additional lessons to students.