Mississippi BodyWalk Blog

being smart from the inside out

Warren County, Vicksburg Mississippi September 29, 2009

Filed under: Body Walk,Health — mississippibodywalk @ 3:12 PM
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In Warren County, Vicksburg Mississippi, this was the first thing to greet the Body Walk truck.

Hearty Welcome for Body Walk

Hearty Welcome for Body Walk

The staff was just as friendly as their sign. Warrenton was a small enough school, all the K-5th graders got to go through the exhibit. Marcus Davis requested Body Walk to come, and he recruited lots of extension help for the set up and running of the exhibit. Thanks to Doyle, Katrina, Rocheryl, Patrick and Thelma for their fantastic Extension help.

Each school usually has a coordinator to keep the day on track. At Warrenton Elementary, Dru Holdiness was that person. As the school nurse, I was happy to work with her, and to give her the school health kit which is part of the Body Walk experience. Each kit contains an Organ Annie and Andy doll, Organwise Guys DVDs, books, lesson plans, and smaller kits specific to lungs or heart.

Many counties recruit adult volunteers, or local college students to work the stations in the Body Walk.  Another excellent choice are Allied Health students. Allied Health students are young people learning about the medical field while they are still in high school. They are usually already familiar with all of the information covered in the Body Walk thus are able to deliver it in an excited and engaging manner. The students from Vicksburg were some of the best yet.


Chickasaw County: Houston Mississipp

Filed under: Body Walk,Healthy Snacks — mississippibodywalk @ 2:51 PM
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Body Walk brought the message of ‘Being Smart from the Inside Out’ to Chickasaw County. Thanks to Scott Cagle who requested Body Walk to come, local third graders got to learn how to be healthy from choosing the right foods, to flossing every day, to the importance of regular hand washing and more.

One room the kids love is the small intestine station. They enter this room after leaving the stomach. This room is shaped like a very small maze with a path they have to follow. In this room, they learn why they need to drink plenty of water. They learn more about digestion and how important fiber is to a healthy body.

Peri Stolic

Peri Stolic

Half of the Small Intestine Station

Half of the Small Intestine Station

From here they go to the Heart Station. Children learn so much as they go through the interactive rooms of the Body Walk.


Pontotoc County

Filed under: Body Walk — mississippibodywalk @ 2:50 PM
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Body Walk is rolling right along.  Recently, the exhibit was in Pontotoc County at the West Heights Family Life Center thanks to Sherry Thompson, Pontotoc County 4-H Youth Agent, who booked the exhibit for her county. Three schools participated, bringing their third graders to tour. A few of the people who made it all happen are Shelia Jones, Pontotoc Volunteer, Beth Randell, Lee County 4-H youth agent, and Pat Benjamin, Pontotoc Volunteer and President of the Pontotoc County Extenstion Executive Board.

Hard at work

Shelia Jones and Sherry Thompson

After children tour the Body Walk, their teachers receive a workbook and sticker for each child. The workbook is age appropriate to the grade level. Teachers can use the workbook in their classroom. Doing so reinforces the lessons presented in the Body Walk. It helps each child to absorb one of our core messages, “Being Smart from the Inside Out.”

Body Walk runs because many people come together to volunteer. People are needed in each station, or room, to present the material. Two more volunteers are needed to hand out bookmarks, in-between the brain and mouth station, and to man the pathway of life which reviews everything covered inside the exhibit.

People are needed outside to distribute socks to children who might have forgotten to wear socks that day, to distribute water to the volunteers, to help keep groups on track and to direct groups where to go when they finish the tour.  We are so grateful to all the volunteers who make Body Walk a success each and every week.

Volunteers help keep everything on track

Beth Randell and Pat Benjamin


Hinds County: Clinton Park Elementary and Oak Forest Elementary September 22, 2009

Filed under: Body Walk — mississippibodywalk @ 7:15 PM
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Last week Body Walk traveled to two schools, Clinton Park Elementary and Oak Forest Elementary, both in Hinds County. I love going to new-to-the-Body-Walk schools, and sharing Body Walk with children who have heard about it, but have never seen it. Children have so many ideas of what it will be, but when they see the exhibit all set up, they are amazed.

Rocheryl Ware scheduled Body Walk to come to Hinds and she was fully hands-on at both locations. There was ample Extension help as well. Thanks to Marcus Davis, Patrick Morgan, Doyle Banks, Katrina Owens and Lurlinda Soignier, we had two great set ups, two great days of Body Walk fun, and take down went smoothly both times.

Every school is different. There are different educators, volunteers, and spaces. As soon as I arrived at CPE, the principal, Suzanne Hollingshead came out to meet me. She was very hands on, helping with the set up, and with making sure all the teachers arrived on time the next day.  I like to ask the kids what they think they are going to learn about before they go in. One little boy said, “Feet! We are going to learn about our feet!” I didn’t correct him, he seemed quite sure he was right.  We had a great day there and before we knew it, all the classes had gone through and it was time to take down.

Arriving at Oak Forest Elementary, I was very happy to see a few members of the Army ready to unload the truck and set up. Army men and woman are the best at unloading, setting up, and getting the exhibit looking its best.  While we were unzipping bags, and hanging walls, I met Ms. Alford. She seemed to be the driving force of organization at Oak Forest. In addition to all the good work she did with Body Walk, she is a 4-H volunteer, and she directs children in raising a vegetable garden each year at the school. Some of the vegetables are served at the school and some are sold at a local farmers market. Then, the money raised is donated to a local soup kitchen. It was a pleasure to meet her.

At Oak Forest Elementary, we had college volunteers from Tougaloo College. They were excellent presenters in the stations, chaperones for groups that didn’t have an adult walking through with them, and Ms. Alford recruited some of them to help pack sack lunches. Everyone had a job.

Kids start at the Brain station where they are greeted by Sir Rebrum. Their next stop is the mouth and then the stomach.

Mouth Station, teeth seats, and Stomach Station

Mouth Station, teeth seats, and Stomach Station

I love this picture because you can see the teeth seats so well. The children sit on these while they learn about brushing, flossing, and why low sugar foods are a better snack than high sugar ones. After they finish in this room, they travel down the esophagus, and into the stomach. You can just see the food pyramid in the stomach station, printed on the back wall.

When the children finish the rooms, they arrive at the pathway of life, where Sir Rebrum greets them again.

Beginning of Pathway of Life

Sir Rebrum greets kids at the Pathway of Life

The Pathway is a review of all the stations they just visited on their trip through the body. They exit through a ‘cut’ in the skin, into the Pathway and once the review is over, they have completed their trip.  I am always amazed at how much information the children absorb as they travel through the exhibit. During the review, they are calling out answers, on target and correct. It is so encouraging to hear.  The goal of Body Walk is teach children the importance of making health choices. From the answers I hear called out, they are getting the message.


Body Walk comes to Rolling Fork September 14, 2009

Filed under: Body Walk — mississippibodywalk @ 10:47 PM
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Body Walk is off to a great start. This week I was in Rolling Fork MS, in Sharkey County. It is so exciting to travel to a new county, and a new school that has never experienced Body Walk.

Upon arrival, I met the principal, Micheal Johnson. He said the kids were thrilled and they had been looking forward to having Body Walk come to their school and could not wait to go through. After showing me where to unload the truck, the assembly process began.

When we arrive at a school, the first thing the volunteers see is this.

Everything neatly packed up, waiting to come to life.

Everything neatly packed up, waiting to come to life.

They can hardly believe that after two short hours of teamwork, it turns into this.

Sir Rebrum welcomes you to the Head Station

Sir Rebrum welcomes you to the Head Station

And this.

Body Walk all set up

Body Walk all set up

We started bright and early Tuesday morning. I talked to the volunteers and then assigned everyone to their stations. Soon the kids came in and after getting shoes off, our first group was ready to begin their walk through the body.

The rest of the day was a pleasant blur of smiling faces, excited groups, and of course the shrill whistle every five minutes. Soon the day had flown by and it was time to take the exhibit down.

Body Walk is truly a team effort and without the co-ordination and planning of many, many people, it would not be possible. The adult volunteers and high school vo-tech students did an excellent job in the stations, leading kids through, and keeping the shoes in order (a bigger job than you might think!). I was happy to meet the extension agents in Sharkey county and really enjoyed working with them.

Robert Martin, Emily Carter, Katie Bouchillon, Linda McGee, Obie Riley

Robert Martin, Emily Carter, Katie Bouchillon, Linda McGee, Obie Riley

If you would like more information about Body Walk, please click the link. Comments are always welcome.


Hello! September 8, 2009

Filed under: Body Walk — mississippibodywalk @ 8:18 PM
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Mississippi Body Walk is a traveling exhibit that teaches children in kindergarten through fifth grade skills needed in developing healthy lifestyles. It is a 40 foot by 40 foot enclosed walk-through exhibit representing the human body.

Body Walk travels the state of Mississippi from county to county, teaching children how and why to make good health choices. Body Walk is one way educators are striving to improve the health of Mississippi’s children.


The Body Walk experience begins in the Brain Station. A group of six to eight students can start the tour every five minutes. After the brain, they travel to the mouth, the stomach, the small intestine, the heart, the lungs, the bones, the muscles, the skin and then they end at the pathway for life, where they review everything they just learned.

The Brain and Sir Rebrum

Inside the mouth room and looking into the stomach room

Walking into the Small Intestines Room

Inside the Heart Room

Windy Lungs inside the Lungs Room

Inside the Bone Room

Muscle Room

Skin Room

Leaving the Body Walk

More than just a one day event, Body Walk offers classroom activities for use before and after the walk through, a take home activity book, and a school health kit.

MS Body Walk is based in Starkville MS, as part of the Extension service and MSU. Come with us this year as we travel Mississippi, meeting children, having fun, and learning together.