The chicken dance marathon was created by third and fourth-grade children at Woodrow Cummins Elementary School in Conway, Arkansas. The children watched a DVD about the men, women, and children from the Kipsongo Slum.
The DVD shared stories about children from the Kipsongo Slum – Helen, Peter, and Delmas. We shared pictures and stories designed to contrast life for the children in the slum and children outside such horrible conditions. We explained that hundreds of other children lived in the slum. The children immediately resonated to the story and identified with the abject poverty. They collectively and emphatically exclaimed, “We need to do something”
Thus, the Chicken Dance Marathon was introduced. Since then, Chicks for Children, in partnership with the Conway School District and the local Chick-fil-A restaurant, have enjoyed six Chicken Dance Marathon’s. There have been other districts in Arkansas that have also introduced Chicken Dance Marathons – England School District, Vilonia School District, Greenbrier School District, and the North Little Rock School District. Out-of-state marathons have included the Oakwood Christian Academy in Chickamauga, GA, the Vail Church in Vail, CO, and the Sweet Creek Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN. There are plans for more marathons, as well. Thousands of children in the states and the children at the Seeds Children’s Home in Kitale, Kenya are shown celebrating the chicken dance while one group sings, “I want to be a kid who cares about the kids in Africa,” and the other group sings, “I want to be a kid who cares about the kids in America.”
The fruit of the labor have contributed to local back-pack projects to feed the hungry and to support youth involved in CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). There have been a variety of global projects, including the building of chicken coops, the purchasing of egg-laying chicks and broilers, the building of greenhouses, the building of classrooms, and the feeding of the orphans.