Third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students at Hilliard's Darby Creek Elementary School had a chance to meet Stinger, the mascot for the Columbus Blue Jackets, on Jan. 14.

Third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students at Hilliard's Darby Creek Elementary School had a chance to meet Stinger, the mascot for the Columbus Blue Jackets, on Jan. 14.

The neon-green, bug-eyed mascot was at the school to promote Stinger's Power Play Challenge, a Blue Jackets program to promote the health and wellness of central Ohio children.

The 60-minute interactive assembly included students helping Stinger identify good exercise activities, dancing segments and recorded messages from Blue Jackets players.

Jill Merkle, a teacher and librarian at Darby Creek, said she applied for the opportunity for Stinger to visit the school.

"The Blue Jackets have a great reading program," she said. "When I learned (the team) had this program, I asked for it to come to our school. I want our kids to have healthy minds and bodies. The kids loved every minute of it."

The Blue Jackets expect to present Stinger's Power Play Challenge to more than 4,000 students at 25 elementary schools in central Ohio during the 2015-16 school year, according to a team press release.

At the conclusion of the assembly, the team provided hockey equipment, including sticks and goalie gear, for use at the school. Each student also received a lunch box and a pass for ice skating at the OhioHealth Chiller Dublin.

Fourth-grader Aubree Whanger said "it was cool" to meet Stinger, adding that he has "a great personality."

Whanger said for exercise, she dances and performs gymnastics but is adding horseback riding to her recreational activities this spring.

Molly Patterson, also a fourth-grader, said she enjoyed meeting Stinger and wants to attend her first Blue Jackets game this season.