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 The Jump with Jill program, featuring performer Catherine Baird, dances its way into Cromie Elementary School Dec. 2 with a message of the importance of good food and exercise.

The Jump with Jill program, featuring performer Catherine Baird, dances its way into Cromie Elementary School Dec. 2 with a message of the importance of good food and exercise.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Jump With Jill highlights nutrition through rock show

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published December 6, 2019

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WARREN — Clad in shiny pants, tennis shoes that lit up, a pink hair bow and a T-shirt with a cool design, Catherine Baird was every bit the rock ’n’ roll star when she visited Cromie Elementary School the afternoon of Dec. 2.

Baird, performing as Jill in the Jump with Jill show, transformed the school’s cafeteria into a rock arena, using music to encourage students to eat healthy foods and exercise so their bodies can stay in fine form.

Helping spread her message was disc jockey Austin Maguire, known onstage as DJ Buff Beats. He helped spin the show’s beats from his booth. Cromie is part of Warren Consolidated Schools.

With a production studio based in Pittsburgh, Jump with Jill was created by registered dietitian and musician Jill Jayne. Jump with Jill promotes nutrition education through catchy rock songs, rap numbers and energetic dance moves. The interactive program, which visits schools internationally, encourages students to take better care of their bodies by eating healthy and exercising every day.

Baird started off the event doing some warmups with the students. There was time to quickly dance “The Floss” and sing along to “Old Town Road,” by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus. The crowd cheered when Baird did a cartwheel onstage.

“We’ve only got one body that is going to last us our entire lives,” Baird told the students. “It is your job to take care of your bodies. To do our favorite things, our bodies need energy. What fuels our body? When we get healthy food, we give our bodies energy.”

She added that it’s OK to have junk foods “once in a while.” During the show, Baird had the students get on their feet and dance several times.

“To give us energy, we need to start with what some people call the most important (meal) of the day, breakfast,” Baird called out through her headset, offering suggestions of what to eat. “You can have some whole grain bread or you can have some whole grain cereal. You can have milk.”

While talking about the benefits of milk, Baird and Maguire went into a rap tune called “Chillin’ with Milk.” Yogurt and fruit also are good breakfast choices, they said, along with eggs. That part of the show came with Baird rocking out with a frying pan and spoon.

“Fruit is so good for my body, and it gives us tons of energy,” Baird said while holding up a tangerine. “It’s sweet like candy, but it’s good for you.”

Baird called fruit “nature’s candy.”

“If fruit doesn’t do it for you, you can always power your plate with vegetables,” Baird told the audience. “Vegetables are so good for me. I like to call them superpower vegetables. Vegetables not only prevent against cancer and heart disease, they are great for my hair, my skin, my eyes, my muscles and my bones.”

Water also is important, she told the crowd. The singer also made the students take a very important pledge. She had them hold up their hands and promise to “try a new vegetable within the next week.”

Cromie Principal Jack Stanton said Jump with Jill came to the school at the beginning of the last school year.

“The kids and staff really loved it and thought it was great,” he said. “The importance of exercise and nutrition — there are lessons every bit as important as 1, 2, 3 and A, B, C. Our goal is to help the kids be healthy and productive citizens.”

For more information on Jump with Jill, visit jumpwithjill.com.

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