WESTFIELD, NJ — Ali Caldwell, a finalist on NBC’s “The Voice,” hosted the eighth annual UnitedHealthcare Health Bee at the Westfield Area YMCA Tuesday.
The bee featured seventh-grade students from Westfield’s Edison Intermediate School and Roosevelt Intermediate School, Cranford’s Orange Avenue School, Hillside Avenue School and St. Michael’s School, Garwood’s Lincoln School and Mountainside’s Deerfield School.
The Health Bee was started as a way to get adolescents involved and working together while learning, according to Jennifer Statham, Regional Communications Director at UnitedHealthcare.
“Our goal is to educate students on getting healthy and preventing obesity but in a fun way,” Statham said. “Tonight went really, really well. It was definitely one of our more competitive events.”
Each school sent a student team to answer trivia about general health and science, food and nutrition or physical fitness. Screams, cheers and cowbells echoed through the gymnasium as Caldwell asked questions and the teams raced to hit their buzzers first.
“I love working with kids and I grew up going to the Y,” Caldwell, a Woodbridge native, said. “I was a little nervous at first, but to see the kids having fun and learning ... it’s a beautiful thing to see.”
Although St. Michael’s School was believed to have won the competition, it was later announced that they had tied with Edison Intermediate School, who were mistakenly docked points for a question about the lymphatic system. To correct the mistake, both teams received a $1,000 check from UnitedHealthcare. Roosevelt Intermediate School won the $250 school spirit award.
“They’re very smart,” Caldwell said of the kids, who she took pictures with and signed autographs for following the competition. “I would love to come back and do it again.”