Lien Elementary and Amery Intermediate take on the PowerUp Challenge


The PowerUp School Challenge kicked off in Amery on January 12 and ended on January 29. The three week challenge inspired students, teachers and families to Try for 5 fruits and veggies every day! 

Over the next few months, schools throughout the St. Croix Valley will join the Challenge and spend three weeks exploring and trying new and different fruits and veggies. This year, over 25 schools will participate in this free program. 

The PowerUp School Challenge included a surprise visit from Chomp, everyone’s favorite giant carrot. The PowerUp Street Team then met with all classes, to provide students the chance to try 5 veggies and vote on their favorites. As a part of the three week school challenge students tracked how many fruits and veggies they ate during the week with an at-school tracker. The whole school participated in the challenge with special promotions through school nutrition services, free t-shirts for teachers and staff and resources such as brain booster videos. Participating schools received all the supplies and resources they need to make the Challenge a success, provided at no charge by PowerUp and Amery Hospital & Clinic.

By participating, schools can also earn PowerUp Bucks that can be used to purchase supplies, equipment or resources that help improve student wellness. PowerUp Bucks have helped schools get cross country skis, climbing walls, salad bars, and other health and wellness supplies for their schools.  

Although the program is new to Amery schools, this is the fourth year of the PowerUp School Challenge. In recent surveys, 3 out of 4 Parents, and 4 out of 5 Schools said the Challenge inspired students to eat more fruits and veggies. Amery schools are seeing the same results.

“Fruits, veggies and Chomp have been the talk of the school. Students are buzzing about fruits and veggies and all were super excited about trying the snack packs,” stated Melissa Hanson, Physical Education teacher at Amery Intermediate.

Danielle Peterson, Physical Education teacher at Lien Elementary, added “The stories coming in to my physical education classes are very positive as many students are sharing how many fruits and vegetables they are eating on a daily basis. It is also interesting to hear how many students are trying new fruits and vegetables.”

“Eating habits formed in childhood last a lifetime and the School Challenge is an important way to help improve eating habits at school and at home. PowerUp is committed to working in partnership with schools and our entire community to help kids in our communities eat better and be active to help them grow up healthy and reach their full potential,” according to Marna Canterbury, MS, RD, Director of Community Health, PowerUp.

PowerUp is also proud to partner with Amery Community Education to bring open gyms for families during the winter months. Open gyms offer an indoor space to run, jump and play with the whole family. They are a fun and free way to PowerUp regardless of the weather. 

“Our first open gym on January 17 had a great turnout. We are hoping to see the same kind of enthusiasm and participation at all the open gyms,” stated Katy Ellefson, RD, LD, CD, Community Health Specialist, Amery Hospital & Clinic. Open gyms takes place at Amery Intermediate School on Sundays from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on January 31, February 14, February 28 and March 13. 

Visit for more information or to get involved.

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