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World Milk Day becomes a celebration of the cow at Shelby Co. elementary; board chairman chips in with calves as hands-on learning tool

Sentinel News, Shelbyville, Sept. 26, 2014

Students udderly enjoy milk day
Heritage celebrates with treats, calves
By Ashley Wilkins

Getting children excited about nutrition isn’t always easy. But yesterday morning, the faces at Heritage Elementary School were covered in milk mustache smiles as Kathy Belcher with Southeast United Dairy Industry Association (SUDIA) explained the nutritional value of milk.

“I’m here to teach students about the importance of school milk in the students’ diets,” Belcher said.

Wednesday, schools across 40 countries celebrated the 15th annual World School Milk Day, a celebration that serves the purpose of teaching students about the health benefits of drinking milk.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations organized the event and provided decorations and educational materials for the day.

The cafeteria at Heritage Elementary was adorned in cow-related décor and cafeteria employees dressed in cow print clothes while providing plenty of milk to the students.

Overall students enjoyed the event but seemed most interested in two baby calves grazing in a small pen next to the playground.

“Lots of kids don’t have a lot of opportunities to see dairy cows up close,” Belcher said, explaining that they often encourage a local dairy farmer to visit the school on this special day.

Shelby County Board of Education chair and local dairy farmer Allen Phillips provided the calves for the children to view and pet.

“We appreciate him coming out here and show his little babies,” Heritage Elementary School cafeteria employee Christine Quine said.

After visiting the baby calves the children learned about milk nutrition.

And to wrap the event children giggled while putting milk mustache stickers on their upper lips, holding giant bottles of milk and flexed their muscles while posing for a class photo.

The event is held annually on the last Thursday in September, and all schools in Kentucky are provided the materials and invited to participate.

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