January 18th and 19th, Body Walk traveled to south Mississippi, all the way down to Saucier. Saucier is about 15 minutes north of Gulfport. Sheran Watkins, the Interim County Director and 4-H, booked Body Walk for her county.
Body Walk is all about the volunteers. Volunteers set up, take down, and work inside the exhibit. Over the years, many different groups have volunteered from teachers to college students, from entire football teams to firefighters. In Saucier, the volunteers were employees of two local Walgreens and members of the PTSA, parent, teacher, student association. They were GREAT volunteers. The entire set up AND a brief tour of the complete exhibit took 1 hr and 10 min.
Sassy Miller, the president of the PTSA helped organize the volunteers. She did a great job making sure there was water and snacks for everyone the day of the program, as well as working hard the entire time from when BW arrived, to when it left. Another important volunteer was Debbie Vaudiver, school nurse. She made sure all the classes came on time so that there were no gaps in the schedule.
We saw over 400 K-3rd grade. After they completed the tour, the entire 3rd grade took a quiz to see what they had learned about being healthy. They learned quite a bit.
The children started the tour in the brain station. There they learned to wear a helmet and that a good breakfast prepares them for the day. Eating the right food fuels their brain so they can think clearly and make healthy choices all day long.
From there, they went to the mouth, the stomach, the small intestine and then the heart.
In this room, they learned how greasy fattening foods can lead to clogged arteries. Clogs make your heart work harder than it should. The smart thing to do is get plenty of exercise and to eat foods that help their body, not clog it up with junk.
From the heart, they entered the lung station. This room is always a hit with kids because they see up close and personal what a healthy pink lung looks like and what a diseased black lung looks like. They also breath through a straw with their nose pinched shut to simulate emphysema. This exercise reinforces the message that healthy lungs are important and they should always make choices to keep their lungs healthy.
The last station is the skin station. Skin is the biggest organ of the body. It regulates body temperature and is the first line of defense to keep harmful germs out of the body. Here they learned how easily germs spread, why they should cover sneezes and why they should wash their hands. They also learned how important it is to protect their skin from the sun, and not just in the summer time.
After they finished the tour, each child received a Body Walk activity book.
Next up, Carroll county.