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Fifth graders experience Body Venture
COURTESY PHOTO On Tuesday, October 22, Great Bend fifth-graders experienced Body Venture in partnership with the Kansas Department of Education and USD 428. The 50’ exhibit toured students through the human body, bringing aspects of nutrition, activity and healthy choices to life. Pictured here, Great Bend Pilot Club member, Ros Neeland, welcomes students into the “mouth” and shares the importance of flossing, among other information.
COURTESY PHOTO Body Venture welcomed nearly 275 Great Bend Fifth-grade students to the Panther Athletic Center on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Body Venture travels the state of Kansas and provides interactive and engaging information to students during a 45 minute narrated “tour” of the body.

Eat smart. Play hard.

While the message is simple, actually creating an active lifestyle and healthy eating habits can sometimes prove complicated. On Tuesday, aspects of nutrition, wellness, physical activity, and body function came to life for Great Bend fifth graders through Body Venture.

Sponsored by the Kansas Department of Education, the 50-foot interactive exhibit takes students through an engaging tour of the human body and the body’s critical organs and functions. The message and experiential education activities provide lessons on good nutrition, physical activity, and other healthy lifestyle choices. 

Locally, the Body Venture event is coordinated by Unified School District 428’s school nurses. Volunteers from the Great Bend Pilot Club and Great Bend High School Kays Club help by staffing the presentations throughout the exhibit. This year’s event welcomed nearly 275 fifth-grade students from all Great Bend elementary schools, including Holy Family and Central Kansas Christian Academy. 

Students also received a take-home activity book, bookmark and reusable bag of healthy snacks.

As students enter Body Venture they are assigned the role of a specific food item.

“You are not here today to eat food, you are food,” said Gerri Marietta, Pilot Club volunteer, as she welcomed a group of students into the exhibit’s “Lunch Room” and introduced the concept of the tour. 

“Body Venture brings information to life,” said Linda Johnson, USD 428 school nurse. “Even though students may hear these messages in the classroom, the experience of walking through the human body and seeing the visual impacts their choices make is very powerful.”

The tour ends in the “Pathway to Life,” summarizing the lessons learned in each portion of the body and the practical life applications to creating a healthy habits and lifestyle.  

“We want to thank The Fieldhouse, OPI, Credit Union of America, Nex-Tech and the Center for Counseling, for their generosity in helping us provide all students with a take-home healthy snack bag,” said Johnson. “Also, this event would not be possible without the amazing volunteers from the Pilot Club of Great Bend and the GBHS Kays Club.”

For more information about the Body Venture program and the office of Child Nutrition and Wellness, visit Local questions can be directed to the USD 428 District Office at 620-793-1500.