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Greensburg girl's 'Healthy Habit' hitting a billboard this summer

Evan Sanders | Tribune-Review
Greensburg Salem Middle School sixth-grader Madison Wood gets a kiss from her mother, Eva Wood, as her father, Chris Wood, displays her winning billboard design for the Healthy Habits campaign sponsored by Excela Health.

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Thursday, May 8, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

Keeping fit and healthy doesn't have to be sheer drudgery.

Just ask Madison Wood, a sixth-grader from Greensburg.

Her secret? Irish step dancing.

Her trick is no longer secret, however, after an assembly at Greensburg Salem Junior High School.

Excela Health announced that Madison wrote a winning essay in its “Healthy Habits” campaign.

She will be featured on a billboard to be displayed late this summer, just before the new school year begins.

Winners from other schools will also be gracing billboards throughout the county in the campaign targeted at preventing childhood obesity.

The winner at Greensburg Central Catholic in Carbon will be announced at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

Hempfield Area School District's winner comes from Wendover Middle School, where an assembly will be held at 8:45 a.m. on May 30.

And, for now, the identities of those winners will remain a secret.

Madison won with this essay:

“Slam! Bang! That's the sound of my feet slamming hard on the dance floor. My dance story began on a hot summer day when my family and I were at Busch Gardens. I asked my mom if we could go see the Irish dance show. I was so intrigued with the movement of their feet that I asked if we could search for an Irish dance company.

“I entered my first Feis, which means competition, when I was 10 years old and placed in the top 3 for my jog. I also placed in the top 4 and 5 for my reel and hornpipe. After those competitions I pushed myself even harder ... At the next competition, I got first place in the jig, the reel and third in the hornpipe. It is my favorite healthy habit because it gives me a good workout and is something I highly enjoy.”

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