Armada (Michigan) Students Learn Life Lessons Through Entertainment


This article originally appeared in the Armada Voice, when the Super U! Challenge was presented at Krause Elementary School in Armada, Michigan. The article gives a nice overview of the show and explains how the program ties in important character education messages.

By Matthew Fahr, Armada Times Reporter

ARMADA, MI  It is not often slime and superhero costumes can be used to explain bullying at the elementary level, but Chris and Brandy of Midwest School Shows did just that last Thursday morning at Krause Elementary.

The pair came to put on their “Super U Challenge” show for a gymnasium packed with enthusiastic and curious students.

The “Super U Challenge” is an interactive game-show style program that reinforces messages about friendship, bullying and making positive choices.

“It gives kids 45 minutes out of their day to have fun and learn life lessons that hopefully they take home with them and remember long after we are gone,” Lynn said of his show.

They mimic a Nickelodeon game show and use slime in one game and in another students race to put on a superhero costume in front of their classmates.

“It really gets the message across,” Lynn said of the show. “You don’t want it to be a lecture or all fun, but you have to find the right balance for the kids to stay attuned to what you want to get across.”

Aside from slime and superhero costumes, they use colorful props and animated games to help teach students about trust and respect of their fellow classmates.

“It is a great time and you hope that the message is sticking with them, but making it fun gives the kids something to remember later,” Lynn said. “They get to have fun and get the themes through to them at the same time.”

The Sterling Heights based company, Midwest School Shows,  was created by Brandy 10 years ago and the “Super U Challenge” is in its third school year of traveling through the Midwest.

Lynn said the group books over 300 shows per year and that the Armada show was about the 70th or 80th show they’d done this year.

He said there are about six different sets of people who travel on behalf of the organization. The group offers shows on over 20 different topics, for students of all ages, ranging from bullying and character education to science and reading skills.

“I have a great time performing for kids,” Lynn said of his job. “I tell my friends that I get paid to travel and the shows are done for free.”

The pair did a show in Cincinnati the day before coming to Armada for the first time and they were scheduled for a show in Dearborn the next afternoon.

“It keeps us pretty busy,” Lynn said. “I am amazed at how organized she (Brandy) is with coordinating everything because we are constantly out on the road and always on the go.”