Mississippi BodyWalk Blog

being smart from the inside out

Body Walk in Lamar County, Hattiesburg October 25, 2010

October 18th through the 22nd, Body Walk was set up at Oak Grove Elementary in Hattiesburg MS. We saw 4th graders from Oak Grove, Sumrall, and Purvis. Liz Sadler, Extension Agent booked Body walk for Lamar. Becke Bounds and Hagan Barber-Oak Grove, Stacy Aulbmon and Kim Jorns-Sumrall, and Teresa Sanford-Purvis, were in charge of scheduling for each of their respective schools. They were all great to work with. Everything ran smooth each day thanks to their careful planning and hard work. Nursing students from USM and William Carey University-School of Nursing were our volunteers for Tuesday through Friday.

Monday was set up day. The weather was nice, sunny and not to hot. The gym is HUGE and air-conditioned, two great qualities for wherever the Body Walk is set up. This gym also has a modern floor. It seems to ‘bounce back’ with every step you take.  After walking on it for for days hour upon hour, it was a much appreciated quality.

The kids were thrilled to see the exhibit. Body Walk is the field trip that comes to them. A few had seen it before but it was brand new to most of the students. They loved the squishy brain, the teeth seats, and the two lungs in the lung station. At the end, during the review, the students just shouted out answers to the review questions. Their teachers were impressed they learned so much from the exhibit.

The nursing students did a great job each day presenting the material. One young woman came up with a new way to demonstrate muscle control in the muscle station. Instead of having the students pick up and squeeze the rubber balls, she gently tossed the balls to them. They caught the balls, then squeezed them, thus learning about reflexes, hand-eye coordination, and muscle control. She was a GREAT presenter.


William Carey Students volunteer on Tuesday

USM students volunteer on Wednesday

William Carey students volunteer on Thursday

USM students volunteer on Friday

Next up for Body Walk, Prentiss County.



Body Walk in Desoto County: Southaven October 15, 2010

A warm welcome from Hope Sullivan Elementary

Body Walk received a warm welcome from everyone at Hope Sullivan Elementary this week. This school has K-2nd grade, and we saw them all, almost 700 kids! The volunteers were busy. One man helped us although he didn’t know he would be called on to help. When I backed the truck up to the double doors of the gym, I saw a wasp nest right above the door. Mr. Carver, custodian and master wasp killer came to the rescue. I hid in the gym, along with all the other volunteers while he sprayed bug spray onto the FOUR wasp nests above the doors. While I had noticed only the one, he didn’t miss any of them. Mr. Carver even swept all the wasps away from the door so we didn’t have to step on them as we unloaded the truck. Thank you Mr. Carver!

The small nest I noticed, right above the door.

The HUGE nest I didn't notice.

Once the wasps gone, the real fun began. Everyone worked together as a great team and we had the exhibit set up, with a few hours to spare before our first group started. Normally, we set up the day before, but this time, we had a morning set up and kids started touring in the afternoon.

I met several wonderful people, coach Emily Cuccia, or Couch ‘C’, served as a volunteer in the stomach. She even had her own food pyramid prop that was a GREAT supplement to our material. Principal Amanda Crider and Assistant Principal Lisa Nye came to see the exhibit in action. Principal Crider even toured with one group so she could really see the Body Walk in action. Amber McCormick, the school nurse, was in charge of the walkie-talkie. She made sure the teachers came on time. We stayed right on schedule thanks to her diligence. Ms. Moore, who handles all the public relations for the school was the first contact person for Joy Anderson, Extension agent. I have worked several times with Joy and she is always a ‘joy’ to work with. (terrible pun I know, but it’s true!) I also got to meet brand new 4-H agents Jessica Lindsey and Amye Zwersche. Jessica has 5 years of daycare in her background and those skills were put to excellent use.

Thursday, our volunteers were nursing students from Northwest Community College in Southaven. They did a wonderful job. I enjoy working with nursing students, they make GREAT volunteers.

A healthy smile is a pretty smile.

A healthy smile is a pretty smile.


Your intestines are as LONG as a house is TALL.

It was great to learn about all the steps Hope Sullivan is taking to ensure healthy students. They have gotten rid of their fryers in the kitchen, they use whole wheat bread for everything, they have switched to 1% milk, and they had Body Walk come to their school. These wildcats are on the right track.


Body Walk in Jones County, Laurel October 4, 2010

October started with Body Walk in Jones County. We were set up at Glade Elementary. The gym was spacious and air-conditioned. While the temps are going down some, it is always hot inside the exhibit and an air-conditioned building is much appreciated.Every building is unique and the most unusual feature of this gym was the concrete stage. In a large room, it held its own as a structure of stability and solidity.

Coach Cook and his son as well as several others worked to set up the exhibit Thursday afternoon. Kim Tolbert, 4-H Instructor and Interim County Director, was great to work with again. The setup went smoothly and soon we were ready to see kids bright and early Friday morning.

Friday, nursing students from Jones County Junior College were in the gym when I arrived. Their instructor Amy Douglas had given out the scripts so they would be prepared when they arrived. They all had picked a location and were practicing with the props.  A few had worked in the exhibit last year and they were excited to volunteer again. I was thrilled to see they were so excited.  Josephine Tate, Area Health Agent, was ready to help out, she is a veteran of Body Walk having volunteered in several counties.

Soon the first group arrived and then it was a mad dash through the day until the last group entered the exhibit.  No one cried this time, but I did have a few kids say there were scared. After I explained that there was nothing scary inside they felt better. After a few minutes inside, all their fear was gone and they were excited to see what came next.

We saw K-6th grade. Tammy Skelton, head principal, went though with one group and she enjoyed how the nursing students presented the material. Gail Daniels, the assistant principal got to see the exhibit, and Shawn Smith, head nurse for Glade Elementary, was the person who got everything rolling to bring Body Walk to Jones County. All her students were glad she did.

Brush twice a day to keep bacteria away.

Eat a balanced meal to be healthy.

A clogged artery slows blood flow.

Dairy builds strong bones. Even a skeleton likes a cheese snack.

Use weights to build your muscles.

October is off to a great start for Body Walk. Next up, Madison county.