Most children have role models, people they admire and want to “be like”. In the Dover City Schools, two well-known high school seniors are encouraging other students to be like them and drink milk for healthy teeth, strong bones, and muscle tone. That is the message delivered on large colorful banners now hanging in all the Dover City School cafeterias.
The project is entitled “Be A Healthy You Rockstar” and presents well-known high school students modeling healthy behaviors. The first banner produced in the campaign features Jordan Mills and Jennica Fenton encouraging students to “drink milk”.
“Students in the elementary and middle schools look up to Jennica and Jordan as role models,” according to Karie McCrate, principal of Dover High School. “When the younger children see older students they idolize modeling a healthy behavior, it can be a very powerful influence.”
The photography and poster design is the work of Denny Trimmer, owner of Solid Rock Photos in Dover. The Union Hospital Community Health and Wellness Department is coordinating the program and funding the production of the large vinyl banners.
Jordan Mills says he had his own role models as a youngster while attending Dover Avenue Elementary School and realizes that his participation in high school athletics now makes him well known to younger students in the district.
“I’m aware of the attention and recognition we get from playing football and basketball,” Mills said. “If I’m going to be a role model for younger kids I want it to be a positive one.”
Active in cheerleading and dance, Jennica Fenton says that, like Jordan, she is glad her high profile on the sidelines as a cheerleader can be a positive influence.
“I’m glad to be part of this project that encourages children to be healthy and participate in sports,” Fenton added.
Kim Nathan, RN, director of UH employee health and wellness, says the Be a Healthy You Rockstar project can really get the attention of younger children.
“When they look up at the poster and see Jennica and Jordan, they’ll think, now here’s somebody I really know!”
Nathan says there will be other students featured in future banners in Dover modeling healthy behaviors. She hopes to expand the program out to other school districts in the area. She agrees with the high school principal that it’s a great way to showcase some great kids in the high school and through them, make a positive impact on the youngsters who esteem them.