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SchoolsAlive! Energ-I-ze hits L.E. Berger

North Dakota State University football player Jack Plankers helps Lily Willis plays a life-sized version of “Angry Birds” during the SchoolsAlive! Energ-I-ze event. Carrie Snyder1 / 4
Collin, 5, and Hailey Metcalfe, 8, work on making an apple smile at L.E. Berger Elementary School. Carrie Snyder2 / 4
Berger Elementary fourth-grader Harriet Ochaya gets her jersey signed by North Dakota State University football player and former Berger student Alex Fontaine last Thursday. Carrie Snyder 3 / 4
Alexis Lindgren pedals fast on a trainer to try and put out the most wattage while Tom and Kari Smith of Great Northern Bicycle Company cheer her on. Carrie Snyder4 / 4

West Fargo’s L.E. Berger Elementary was filled with excitement and energy from over 400 students, parents and families during the SchoolsAlive! Energ-I-ze Program, which took over the school last Thursday.

The free event provided healthy snacks, nutrition bingo, family Zumba, craft projects, laughter yoga, tumbling with American Gold Gymnastics, the Great Northern Bicycle Bike Challenge, and many games, activities and door prizes.

“It’s a time for families, parents and children, to get together, come to the school and participate in activities,” Kristi Toy, assistant principal at L.E. Berger said. “It’s also promoting healthy eating and different activities families can do together.”

The program is sponsored by Sanford Health and Cass-Clay who partner with other agencies in the area to bring the health-focused programs to schools across the Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo schools.

“The program has four specific goals,” Kristen Liebl said, community dietitian for Sanford Health. “Increase the number of free physical activity events available to families. Increase the awareness of healthy eating and options. Increase collaborative relationships among organizations in the community working towards a healthier community. And develop an efficient system of conducting Family Fit Nights at neighborhood elementary schools which focus on living a healthy lifestyle.”

This year was the second year for Berger Elementary students to participate in the program. Eastwood Elementary along with Freedom Elementary were part of the 11 events put on this year throughout the region.

“It’s so important to do these things with your family,” Toy said. “The students get really excited and have been talking a lot about it. Our community comes out and sponsors this and everyone works together. It’s unbelievable.”

North Dakota State University football players even made an appearance at the event, signing autographs and helping promote physical fitness.

“I think it’s good for the kids to get out, play and do activities,” Alex Fontaine, NDSU football player and former Berger Elementary student said.

Area college students make up a lot of the volunteers during the event, but seem to enjoy themselves as much as the children.

“I think it is great the kids are having fun and the parents are enjoying themselves,” NDSU football player Jack Plankers said. “I volunteered last year. They (the students and parents) do a lot for us by coming out and cheering during the games. It’s a great way of giving back and it’s a lot of fun.”

Carrie Snyder
Carrie Snyder has been a staff photographer for The Forum since 2007. She grew up in Fargo and attended Minnesota State University Moorhead.  Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to .