KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Imagination will become reality next Tuesday for hundreds of students around Kansas City who’ve been participating in a summer-long program called “Animal Movements.”
Tony Temple, author of the book by the same name, has led the curriculum at different camps throughout the summer. It uses animals to teach students lessons about mental and physical well-being.
Now, Temple is inviting every child, even those not involved in the summer program, to the Animal Movements Wellness Day at the Kansas City Zoo from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 26. The event is free with zoo admission.
“We’re just creating wellness youth activities that focus on mental health and movement,” Temple said.
Temple was a star football player at Rockhurst High School and University of Missouri. After college, he founded Temple Made Fitness and eventually started the summer camp in conjunction with Upper Room KC.
This summer, Temple’s collaborated with more partners like Queen Vibes, Drewski Cutz, Mattie Rhodes Center and others to reach roughly 1,200 kids across Kansas City. That's a lot more than the 30 he worked with at Notre Dame de Sion last summer.
“This summer was about how do we truly make more impact,” Temple said.
MaKenzi, a 10-year-old in Upper Room KC’s program who danced all afternoon with Temple’s team, appreciated the camp session.
“It made me feel a little tired and happy,” she said.
McKoy, 9, echoed MaKenzi’s sentiments.
“Everybody was so happy," he said. "It just made me feel good, too."
Those reactions mean Temple succeeded in achieving his goal to give children safe, physical outlets to benefit their mental health.