Visitors received water bottles wrapped in handwritten notes that expressed the students' gratitude to UNICEF.

Visitors received water bottles wrapped in handwritten notes that expressed the students’ gratitude to UNICEF.

Preston Hollow Elementary was a happening place to be yesterday afternoon, as the school celebrated “unlocking” 1,611 packets of food for those served by UNICEF. That’s enough to save 17 lives.

Students in third through fifth-grade began wearing Kid Power bands, which track movement, a month ago. The more they moved, the more points they earned. According to UNICEF, “points unlock funding from partners, parents and fans, and funds are used … to deliver lifesaving packets of therapeutic food to severely malnourished children around the world.”

Upon arrival, guests were greeted by a crew of young string musicians and invited to take a tour of the school. Ours was guided by two fifth-graders, Denisa Sekic and Hana Selomon. They showed us the library and pointed out some of their favorite murals. We lingered in the cafeteria, where Sekic says the food it “okay.” Selomon recommends the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

The girls then took the stage to sing the school anthem, which announced the start of the ceremony. After the performance, several kids shared what they learned from participating in the Kid Power Challenge. They all said the experience taught them about nutrition and the importance of helping others.

Someone cranked up One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” and projected dancing avatars onto a screen. Everyone was encouraged to boogie along in the name of philanthropy.

“When the hard part comes on, I go in the back and pretend I’m working on the volume or something,” joked I.B. coordinator K.C. Cox, who emceed the event.

A representative from UNICEF announced the most active class. “Ms.” Denice Miranda’s fourth-graders proudly took the stage to receive their Kid Power water bottles. To conclude, everyone chanted UNICEF’s Kid Power tagline: “Get active. Save Lives.”

Students from Denice Miranda's fourth grade class, accepting their water bottles.

Students from Denice Miranda’s fourth grade class, accepting their water bottles.