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Third-Graders At Elmsford's Grady School Learn About Living Healthy Lives

Kemi Pogue, program director of Home Run Against Drugs, and Homer, the program's mascot.
Kemi Pogue, program director of Home Run Against Drugs, and Homer, the program's mascot. Photo Credit: Provided

Students at the Alice E. Grady Elementary School in the Elmsford Union Free School District were reminded of making healthy lifestyle choices during a fun interactive presentation that took place in the school’s cafeteria April 29 called “Home Run Against Drugs Give a Book Program.”

The presentation, delivered by Kemi Pogue, program director of Home Run Against Drugs, is designed to educate youth about choosing a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

Pogue delivers the program to third- and fourth-graders in schools across Westchester. This was her second year bringing the program to the Grady School.

After introducing the organization’s mascot, “Homer,” to the students, Pogue asked them to think about the various stages of a typical baseball game.

“You must have the self-esteem to get to first base,” she said, bringing up a student volunteer to help illustrate the importance of feeling good about oneself when making wise choices.

“If you have self-esteem, you can change it up,” she told them.

Using large, brightly illustrated placards, Pogue pointed out the importance of eating healthy food.

“Can someone give me an idea of healthy food?” she asked. Several students responded, giving examples such as carrots, oranges, bread, strawberries and more.

In addition to eating all the right foods and exercising, Pogue urged the children to stay away from cigarettes, alcohol and narcotics.

With the help of student volunteers, the students had a chance to see up-close what the effects of smoking might look like on one’s teeth by examining a set of make-believe teeth labeled “Mr. Gross Mouth” and on a liver by seeing a jar that contained a model of a cirrhotic liver floating beside a pickle.

Referring to a baseball player’s successful home run, Pogue said that kind of success comes down to good decision making.

“Sai decided that he wanted to hit a home run against drugs,” said Pogue, referring to the student volunteer’s imaginary home run. “And guess what, every student in this cafeteria helped him do that.”

After the 45-minute presentation, every child received a personalized book titled, “Homer and Me.”

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