Mississippi BodyWalk Blog

being smart from the inside out

Body Walk FAQ October 28, 2009

Filed under: Body Walk,Health,Nutrition — mississippibodywalk @ 2:56 PM
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We get a lot of questions throughout the year about Body Walk. This FAQ will hopefully answer most of them. If you have a question not covered here contact us.


Q1. What is the purpose of Body Walk?
A. The purpose is to teach children “being smart from the inside out.”  Children in Mississippi are failing health. We have too much obesity and the health problems that come from obesity. Body Walk teaches children what good food and healthy choices are, and how to make those choices. After the tour, they receive a workbook that reinforces the lessons of the tour. Also, each school receives a health kit that teachers can use to further teach the importance of exercise, healthy food, and smart choices.

Q2. What grade level is Body Walk designed for?
A. Kindergarten through fifth grade.

Q3. How big is the Body Walk?
A. Body Walk is a 40′ by 40′ walk-through exhibit. It needs a room 60′ by 60′ with 12′ ceilings.


Q1. When can I schedule Body Walk?
A. Body Walk scheduling is open twice a year, in the spring and fall. We send out an email to all the County Extension Agents to let them know the exact date when scheduling opens. If you want Body Walk, it is best to have a few different dates in mind, because when open, the schedule fills up quickly.

Q2. How can I schedule Body Walk to come to my school?
A. If you are a County Extension Agent, call us in the spring or fall when scheduling is open. If you are a teacher, parent, school nurse, or principal, please contact your local County Extension Agent to let them know you want Body Walk to come to your school.

Q3. How many people do I need to make Body Walk a success?
A. You need 10-12 adults to help set up and take down the Body Walk exhibit. On the day(s) that children tour, you need 11-15 volunteers.

Q4. How long does it take to set up and take down the exhibit?
A. Two hours for set up, one and a half hours for take down with 12 adults.

Q5. Why do the kids have to take their shoes off?
A. Body Walk sees over 20,000 children a year. Part of the exhibit consists of flooring that could be damaged if all those children were allowed to walk across it wearing shoes. We care for our exhibit and want it to look nice for as long as possible.


Q6.How many kids can go through in a group?
A. Eight to ten.


Q7. How long does it take to tour the exhibit?
A. Allow one hour. This allows time to remove shoes, get lined up, take the tour, exit, and put shoes on.


Q1. Can high school students be volunteers?
A. Yes. They must be over 15 and responsible. For example, we have had great success with Allied Health Students as volunteers.

Q2. Can I bring my coffee/tea/soft drink into the station with me?
A. No. Water is the only beverage allowed in the Body Walk and no food is allowed. Water is in encouraged because we know talking will make you thirsty.

Q3. Do I (as a volunteer) have to take my shoes off?
A. Yes, because we require the students to and they perceive it as fair for you to remove your shoes as well.


Q1. Do I have to go through with my students?
A. Yes. Your class will most like be in two to three groups. Please pick the group you wish to tour with.

Q2. Do I have to take my shoes off?
A. Yes.


Body Walk comes to Lamar County October 27, 2009

Filed under: Body Walk,Nutrition — mississippibodywalk @ 2:31 PM
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The Body Walk exhibit rolled on in October. October 19-23 Body Walk was in Lamar County, Olive Grove Mississippi. Liz Sadler booked the exhibit and she and Kimberley Sullivan were on site all week to make sure things ran smoothly.

In Olive Grove, we saw children from three schools, Olive Grove, Purvis, and Sumrall. Body Walk is designed for kindergarten through fifth grade, but here, due to the large number of students, we only saw fourth graders.  Monday was set up day. Nursing students and registered dietitian students from USM helped with the set up and they did a fantastic job. During the week, the coordinators for each elementary school were Hagan Barber, Kim Jorns, and Jena Agent. They kept the teachers and students on track, on time, and in place for each groups turn to enter the exhibit.

Tuesday, all our volunteers working in the stations were nursing students from Jones County Junior College. They were energetic, knowledgable and pleasant. The kids went in smiling and came out smiling. I quizzed a few as they put their shoes back on and I could tell they had really paid attention in the stations.



Jones County Junior College nursing students


Wednesday, our volunteers were from the USM School of Nursing. These students were excited and they all handled their room well. We had a lunch break, and a few of the volunteers took the opportunity to work a different station for the afternoon shift.



USM School of Nursing students


Thursday and Friday, our volunteers were from William Carey University School of Nursing. We had eight each day and they all did a wonderful job. Thursday’s volunteers got away before I could get a picture, but Friday’s group posed on our big red tongue. The lady in the hard hat and holding the saw worked in the bone station. It is so wonderful when the volunteers really get into the ‘character’ of the room.  Friday’s volunteers also helped take down and pack up the exhibit. Excellent help.

William Carey University School of Nursing students

The goal of Body Walk is to help children be smart from the inside out. Presenting all the information that Body Walk has to offer would be impossible without the hard work and cooperation of so many. Thank you.


Body Walk comes to Coahoma County

Filed under: Body Walk,Uncategorized — mississippibodywalk @ 11:54 AM
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October has been a busy month for Body Walk. October 12-16, we were in Coahoma County at the Clarksdale Civic Auditorium.  We had a great week.

It began with this warm welcome.


Body Walk is THE event for the week.

It takes many volunteers to make Body Walk happen. One big job is counting out all the books and stickers for each child who tours the exhibit. Another job is working the room or station. The students learn so much as they travel through the human body from the brain to the skin. Here are just a few stops along the way.

Bookmarks! This is a stopping point after kids leave the brain station and before they get to the mouth station. I think our volunteers were so enamored of the brain, they wanted one to study of their very own.


A food bookmark lets a student know what food they are as they travel through the exhibit.

Here in the stomach, children get to use their bookmarks for the first time as they compare what food they are to the picture of my pyramid. Here in the stomach, they are ‘churned’ and ‘digested.’


The stomach where churning, sloshing digestion begins.

In the small intestine station, we have a volunteer telling the students about the villi in their bodies and how villi work to absorb nutrients.


The small intestine continues to break the food down after the stomach

Here we have a volunteer in the bone station telling the kids about the importance of strong bones, especially strong teeth.


Milk provides calcium needed for strong bones.

We are so happy we were able to bring Body Walk to Coahoma county. Thanks to all the hard work from so many people, it was a success.


Washington County: Avon Mississippi October 8, 2009

Filed under: Body Walk,Health — mississippibodywalk @ 7:20 PM
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Body Walk’s latest stop was in Avon Mississippi in Washington County. Riverside Elementary School was a new school for Body Walk, which is always interesting. I love meeting new kids who have never experienced Body Walk and who aren’t quite sure what to expect.

Alma Harris from Extension and Geneva Hamilton from the school both greeted me warmly when I arrived to set up. Mr. Anderson and Mr. Taylor who worked at the school were hugely helpful in setting up and taking down the exhibit.

We saw kindergarten through 3rd grade and all the kids were super excited. In addition to the fun of Body Walk, it was picture day. The kids had a ball all day long. Adult volunteers manned the stations.

Alma Harris and Geneva Hamilton

Alma Harris and Geneva Hamilton

One room that really surprises the students is the lung room. It is in here that they see up close what a healthy pink lung looks like AND what a diseased black lung looks like. It is important to make a strong impression on children just how bad, how hurtful, smoking is to a person’s lungs. Never smoking is so much better for overall health than stopping smoking after a person starts.

Windy has healthy lungs.

Windy has healthy lungs.

In the Path of Life, during the review of the lung station, when asked if they will ever smoke, all the kids say NO. That’s the goal, non-smokers for life.


Simpson County: Mendenhall Mississippi

Filed under: Body Walk — mississippibodywalk @ 4:48 PM
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October’s first stop for Body Walk was Simpson County. Amanda Blakeney, Laureen Lockhart, and Tammy Layton were the extension agents on hand. I was excited to see them, as I had set up in their county, and at this school last year. I knew I was in for a great experience and I was not disappointed.

Tammy Layton, Amanda Blakeney, Laureen Lockheart

Tammy Layton, Amanda Blakeney, Laureen Lockhart

Set up, take down, and all the fun times in between went great thanks to Sherry Fortenberry, Mendenhall Elementary’s lead teacher. She had help from Americore and Allied health students. They were great as station presenters. High school students often make great presenters because they have covered the material in depth in their own classes, and often, they know many of the elementary students who come through.

In Mendenhall, we saw K-3rd grade. I am always thrilled when kindergarten and 1st graders get to come through the Body Walk. They are awed by the size of the exhibit and they love every prop we show them. Even children this young learn amazing amounts of information. When they get to the path of life and are quizzed on what they just saw, they shout out the correct answers.

The high school graciously allowed the use of their gym and as a precaution, brown paper was put down on the floor before the exhibit went up. You can see from the picture, the floor was so shiny, the exhibit was reflected. The paper did a great job of protecting the floor.

Body Walk all set up

Body Walk all set up

One of the wonderful things about Body Walk is how flexible the exhibit is. As long as you have a big enough building, with high enough ceilings, we can work with your facility. Ultimately, as long as the students have a great experience and learn as they walk through the body, then the rest is just details.


Marshall County

Filed under: Body Walk,Health — mississippibodywalk @ 4:37 PM
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Rolling right along, Body Walk went to Marshall County. We were greeted by Lemon Phelps and Nancy Green. The facility was a multipurpose building which was well suited for the Body Walk exhibit.  Everyone did a great job and we were happy to bring Body Walk north. Here as in many other counties, each station was manned by high school students. They did a wonderful job and the younger students learned many ways to be healthy.

Lemon Phelps and Nancy Green

Lemon Phelps and Nancy Green

One room that the kids like is the heart room. In this room, or station, they learn about their arteries, their heart (big as their two fists), how low fat food is good for you, and that exercise helps keep your heart healthy. In this room, they get to do ten jumping jacks and then feel their pulse to see how their heart rate went up. Everyone outside the exhibit knows exactly when the jumping jacks part of the script is reached. The enthusiasm is obvious.

The organ wise guys are the ‘guides’ in each room, and Hardy Heart is the spokesperson in the heart station. The kids actually get to see Hardy Heart twice. He greets the students when they come in the door, and then he is larger than life on the wall of the heart room.

Hardy Heart welcomes you with a huge smile.

Hardy Heart welcomes you with a huge smile.

Hardy Heart shows that exercise keeps your heart healthy.

Hardy Heart shows that exercise keeps your heart healthy.

In the Heart room, Hardy is exercising, showing the children that exercise keeps him healthy, and it can keep their heart healthy too.  In addition to Heady Heart, this room has a prop that shows a clear artery and a clogged artery. Often, when quizzed at the end, students say they will eat more low fat foods because they want to keep their arteries clean, not clogged.

Music to our ears.