Club Moo is a program fostered by Alberta Milk to encourage children from kindergarten to Grade 6 to regularly drink milk.
It has been operating for 31 years, when six schools began offering milk several times a week to their students.
Schools in Barrhead, Bonanza, Rocky Mountain House, Niton Junction and Two Hills were the first to participate in Club Moo. Now there are 321 schools in the program and four of them just marked their 25th year of participation.
Alder Flats School in Alder Flats, Rosary School in Manning, St. Mary School in Beaverlodge and St. Teresa of Avila School in Red Deer have been Club Moo members since 1991.
Kelsie Gilks, school and agriculture programs co-ordinator for Alberta Milk, said the program recognizes schools that reach the 25 year milestone each year. So far, 161 Alberta schools have reached the quarter-century mark of participation.
“The students love participating in the program,” said Gilks. “Once you get it going, it’s a great program to have.”
Prizes are offered to students as an incentive to drink milk.
Participating schools buy the milk and choose the desired number of servings of white, chocolate, skim, two percent or whole, according to their needs.
Gilks said it is usually a matter of parents signing up their students for the milk program and paying a fee per semester or annually. Milk is then provided three to five times per week to enrolled students with distribution organized by a designated milk manager.
Although it sounds simple, Gilks said it takes effort to organize Club Moo, so Alberta Milk is appreciative of those efforts in participating schools.
Gilks noted milk provides essential nutrients and Club Moo’s goal is to educate students about that and help them make a habit of drinking milk.
“If they’re drinking it at a young age, chances are pretty good that they’ll continue drinking it as they grow older and as it becomes more important to have in their diet, especially for bone density and bone growth.”
Information about Club Moo is available at moreaboutmilk.com.