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Tiny Humans, Big Knowledge

By Kathy Kahler
The Nebraska Signal

FitBits have been fairly common with adults over the past decade. The fit-band device really took off in 2015. They are a way of staying healthy, by logging steps taken throughout the day, keeping track of a person's sleeping patterns, physical activity, work out patterns, etc. The more you move, the more the FitBit records.
In 2014, UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) developed the UNICEF Kid Power program. Students across the United States participate in this program by wearing fitness bands that track both steps and movement.
The more students move, the more points they earn for the Kid Power program. The more points earned, the more lives they save by unlocking therapeutic food packets to treat severely malnourished children around the world.
Two years ago, the Exeter-Milligan School District became part of the local schools that participate in the Kid Power program. Grades K-6 are given their own fitbit which keeps track of their movement on a daily basis. Each day, their numbers are totaled up and when they reach a certain number, a packet is made and sent to another country to help those in need of food.
The packets consist of a powered dry substance that is put into water, which nourishes individuals that are malnourished.
The kindergarten class at Exter-Milligan may not know how to read the number 4,565 or even stay on track of a subject that you are having with them, but they sure can tell a person how their fitbits work and what they are used for.
The Nebraska Signal had to opportunity to visit with the youngsters and discuss the Kid Power program. As  the interviewer, knowing very little about the program, the kindergarten class explained what a homeless person is, how a person can become homeless, what an orpahn is, the type of food that are put in these packets, who prepares them and even how they are helping by participating.
Crosby Oldehoeft said they get packages for people that are homeless and foodless and Archer Kanode says he wears his fitbit because he has to give other people food if they don't have any food. In a nutshell, that is exactly what this program does. However, when asked some harder questions, the kindergarteners had answers, but.......
Some of their answers included:
• Where does your packets go to?
"We picked any country that doesn't have food," says Gracelyn Becker.
Axel Erdkamp says, "A country like Africa, because they don't have food."
•What kind of people are you helping by earning these packets?
"Homeless and foodless people," says Crosby Oldehoeft.
•What is a homeless person?
Lillian Koehler softly says, "Someone that doens't have food."
Axel then pipes in "One time we met this homeless person when we were driving a truck and my mom gave him money."
Archer Kanode says "One time, Mrs. Pappik was at a wedding and there was a homeless person."
•How does a person become homeless?
  "When  you run out of money and you can't find food anymore," says Liam Capek
"And if a fire in your house and it burns down," says Crosby
"In Africa my mom said there is a big mudslide. And another reason maybe you become homeless is your house gets destroyed in a storm, like a mudslide or there's a big earthquake and your house gets broke. Any maybe it's because sometimes you just don't have enough money." Axel says.
•What's an orphan?
Hadley Kahler says "It's this little town."
•Where's this little town at?
Axel, "It's in a country."
•How many homeless people are in the world?
   30 people, says Hadley.
10 people, says Gracelyn
100 billion people says Piper Grummons.
Archer says nine trillion, 65 homeless people are in the world.
• If there is that many homeless people in the world, how many countries do your packets get sent to?
Axel said, 52
Archer says, 10 countries
Crosby says, five or six countries
Lilly agrees with Archer, 10 countries
• What is important about wearing these fitbits?
Crosby says, "You have to step to get the points. I think it's 1,000 steps to get a power point."
Archer says, "I think it's 11,000 steps."
• Who makes these packets?
"The teachers make the packets and they put fruit and vegetables and candy in them," says Axel
• How often do these packets get sent out?
Gracelyn says, everytime someone gets a power point.
These little humans may be tiny, but their knowledge on the Kid Program is pretty impressive for their ages. Not only did they understand how the fitbits work and the importance of their movement, but they were also able to explain from their views a problem this world sees on an every day basis....homeless people and some of the causes of homelessness.