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  • Oppe, PR students Get Moving! with another successful Day of Play

Oppe, PR students Get Moving! with another successful Day of Play

Dr. Oppe huddles with the kids before breaking with loud "Let's go Mountaineers!" Photo by Maddie Stratos.

Teaching Professor Elizabeth Oppe breaks a huddle to start off another Get Moving! activity. Photo by Maddie Stratos.

Each spring, Advertising and Public Relations students volunteer for the annual Day of Play event hosted by the Get Moving! Organization, which was founded by Elizabeth Oppe, a teaching professor in the WVU Reed College of Media

Day of Play provides an opportunity for kids ages four to 12 to participate in activities with West Virginia University athletes in the WVU Football Practice Facility just behind Mylan Puskar Stadium.

“Working with Dr. Oppe on Day of Play was such a great experience,” said Maura Gibson, a Public Relations sophomore who serves as Oppe’s teaching assistant. “There was so much hard work that went into planning the day and being able to see it all come together was so rewarding. Helping Dr. Oppe gave me the chance to learn more about all the moving parts that contribute to planning an event like this and see how much events like this impact the Morgantown community.”

Get Moving! was founded in 2014 with a mission to foster a healthy and active life for children in West Virginia and surrounding states by providing opportunities for children to get exercise while having fun. In addition to WVU athletes, this year’s Day of Play featured the Mountaineer Marching Band and Musket, the official friend of the Mountaineer Mascot. Attendees also received a t-shirt, healthy snack and a Get Moving! water bottle.

Photo by Maddie Stratos

Participants pose for a group picture with Musket, the official friend of the Mountaineer. Photo by Maddie Stratos.

This year, attendees rotated through ten stations where athletes from WVU Women’s Volleyball, Men’s Soccer, Football and the Dance Team guided exercises and mini challenges. Parents were given the option to enter a 50/50 drawing and auctions for a football signed by WVU Football players, a mini helmet signed by Pat McAfee, a "Stay & Play" package at Stonewall Resort, and themed gift baskets for WVU apparel, vintage shopping and downtown shopping. Representatives from local businesses including WVU Medicine, CASA for Kids, United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties and Boy Scouts of America had booths along the perimeter of the playing field.

“I was able to make a lot of connections with other volunteers and community members, and also get hands-on experience with planning and promoting,” Gibson said. “I also had the opportunity to do social media for Get Moving! which allowed me to combine my interest in graphic design with my TA responsibilities for Dr. Oppe in a fun and unique way.”

In addition to Gibson’s social media coverage, reporters from the Reed College of Media’s student-produced newscasts, “WVU News” and “Mountaineer Playbook,” produced segments, and WBOY-TV interviewed Oppe, athletes and the kids about their experiences.

The day concluded with the announcement of 50/50 and auction winners, autograph opportunities with the WVU athletes and the singing of “Country Roads.”

Two children with their arms around each otherThe Day of Play attendees gathered to sing "Country Roads" at the conclusion of the event. Photo by Maddie Stratos.

“The inspiration for this event comes from the children,” Oppe said. “It’s the impact of bringing the children and athletes together and seeing them be physically active that motivates others to get moving! The success of the Day of Play is measured in smiles, running and playing together for every child that attends.”

For more information about Get Moving!, their mission and events, visit https://www.getmovingwv.org/