Mississippi BodyWalk Blog

being smart from the inside out

Body Walk in Jones County, West Jones Elementary School March 29, 2011

The last trip for March was to Laurel MS, at West Jones Elementary School. Right of the bat, this was a good trip. Usually when I arrive at a school, I go to the office to let them know I am there. Sometimes I am met with complete blank looks as I explain who I am and why I am there. Not so at this school. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, knew about Body Walk and they were thrilled to see me.

I met Angela Manning and Lynn Todd first off. These two ladies were to be my main contacts for the entire time. Angela had set up the schedule, and she is the one who let the teachers know when they should come to the gym. She did a fantastic job. The part I loved the best was she has read the BW schedule example which specifies groups of 6-8 are the BEST size for traveling though the exhibit. All the classes were split into three groups instead of half. This made a HUGE difference in the noise level, the behavior of the kids, and the sheer enjoyment of the experience for the students. They could hear as they went through. They were not overcrowded. Each presenter could make eye contact and have good interaction with each child in the group as they traveled through the body.

We were set up in the gym. Marie Coleman, PE teacher helped with the set up. She had made sure the gym was clean and ready before the set up. The Jones County school maintenance department, headed by Launch Mauldin, teachers, and other adult volunteers also helped with the set up. We had the entire exhibit up and ready in just over an hour. Everyone did a fantastic job.

‘Queen” Lynn Todd was on hand to help keep everything running smoothly. She was fun to talk to and she was superb at handing out the bookmarks. She also handed out witty comments that kept me laughing for two days.  I met both the principals, Mark Reddoch and Steve Gieger. They were on hand during much of BW. They helped with the set up, the take down, and Mr. Geiger even did something I have never had a principal do before. He took a turn inside the BW as a station presenter! I was very impressed.

It was great to work with Kim Tolbert, 4-H Extension, again. She booked BW to come to her county. Kim is very organized and this time was no exception. She gave each group of students ‘the speech’ and helped me keep the entire show on time. We had two different groups of station presenters. On the first day, we had nursing students from JCJC. They were assigned two to a room. They all did a good job, asking the kids questions, reading enthusiastically, presenting the material in a fun way. I was most impressed with the two ladies in the small intestine. They invented a ‘wave’ dance. When the whistle blew (signaling it was time to move on to the next room) they had the kids stand with their arms up. They swayed and waved from the small intestine into the heart. The kids LOVED it. I loved it to.

JCJC Nursing Students at West Jones Elementary

The next day, we had adult volunteers, teacher assistants, one principal, and other extension personal volunteer as presenters in the rooms. They did a wonderful job. The kids were smiling as they came out, calling out all the right answers to the review questions put to them in the Pathway of Life.   By the end of the day Friday, over 1000 students, K-5th had toured the Body Walk. They each received a sticker and an activity book back in their classroom.  Putting on such a huge exhibit, and seeing so many children is not possible without excellent help, excellent organization, and excellent people. West Jones Elementary excels in all categories.

Next up, Hancock County


Body Walk in Union county, New Albany Elementary March 10, 2011

Spring showers are here and Body Walk rolled through the rain, right into Union county. We set up at New Albany elementary. Our set up crew were young men from FFA at the New Albany Vocational Center. They did a great job. They listened and worked well together. There was no horseplay or slacking off. Because of the good job they did, the truck was unloaded and the entire exhibit was set up in just over an hour.


Teamwork in action

FFA students putting the roof on the mouth station.

Jane Brooks booked Body Walk for her county. She and Gina Wells did a great job organizing the project and lining up volunteers to set up, work the stations, and take down the exhibit. Almost 400 3rd graders from five schools toured the Body Walk on Wednesday. New Albany Elementary, Myrtle, Ingomar, East Union and West Union students got to learn how to be smart from the inside out.


Before they started the tour, they had two stations to enjoy. The first was a food quiz where they answered questions about healthy food. For example, “True or False, eating fruits and vegetables will improve your night vision? True!”  Here and inside the Body Walk, HOSA students from New Albany Vocational Center were the volunteers for the day.


Fruits and vegtables help you see better at night.

Spin the wheel and learn!


The second was an anti-smoking station. Here they learned how bad smoking is for their health, some of the toxins that are in cigarettes, and how even smokeless tobacco can cause mouth cancer.


Cigs are full of toxins.

Stickers and pencils help the students remember to never start smoking.

From there they started the Body Walk. They spent five minutes in each station. As always, they loved the light in the brain, the teeth in the mouth, the villi in the intestines and all the rest. When they got to the muscles, they learned about what fat looks like and what muscles look like.



Muscle shirt, muscle guys, we are strong

Eating right, exercise, and a novelty shirt will give you muscles like these!

And in the skin they learned about germs, why hand washing is SO IMPORTANT, and protecting their skin from the sun.



Sunscreen, hand washing, germs, sunhat

Ready to tell the kids all about keeping their skin healthy.

In the Pathway of Life, they reviewed all they just learned. Each banner represented the stations they had just passed through. While this was the last stop for Body Walk, it was not the last stop for the students. They had one more place to go.



Pathway of Life, MS Body Walk

Ready to review.

Exercise! Here the kids danced, they did the limbo, and they cha-cha-cha’d their way to good health.



dance your way to good health

Dancing is fun exercise.

After this stop, the students were finished and it was time to put shoes back on and return to the bus, full of knowledge about how to make good food and health choices for themselves.

Next stop, SPRING BREAK!!

After that, Jones county.



Body Walk in Rankin County, Pelahatchie MS March 3, 2011

Filed under: Body Walk — mississippibodywalk @ 1:08 PM

Body Walk saw the end of February in Pelahatchie, Mississippi. Here we set up at Pelahatchie Elementary. Carol Ballard booked Body Walk for her county. Coach Kris Upchurch was very hands on, helping direct the football boys to set up the exhibit, and making sure all the classes arrived on time for their trip through the body.


How did it all fit?

Body Walk truck open, ready to be unloaded.

Kindergarten through Fourth grade came through, just over 300 students. The each received a sticker and activity book after their tour.



The organwise guys are part of the Body Walk

Activity book and sticker


Inside the exhibit, high school seniors and a few assistant teachers served as station presenters. The kids loved sitting on the teeth stools inside the mouth. They loved seeing the fat and muscle in the muscle station. During the review, they went over everything they had seen inside  the Body Walk.


My what big teeth you have!

Inside the mouth with a view into the stomach.

Brain, mouth, stomach, small intestine, heart, lung, bones, muscle, skin

Pathway of Life. Place to review all the great info learned inside the Body Walk.

Many of the students wanted to go through again, a sure sign they enjoyed the experience.

Next stop, Union county.



Body Walk in Adams County, Morgantown Elementary March 2, 2011

Adams county, NATCHEZ! Body Walk set up at Morgantown Elementary February 23rd. This was a great setup. The gym was huge and carpeted. The school maintenance staff helped me back the truck up almost into the gym and from there, they were fast at unloading and fast at setting up the exhibit. Jason Jones booked Body Walk for his county. He was well-organized and great to work with.


Body Walk and the Organwise Guys

The next day, the students came through. The school staff had everything very well-organized. The students put their shoes in cardboard boxes labeled with each teachers name. They were then lined up. When the whistle blew to signal the start of the next group, the kids were in place, ready to go.


The station presenters were members of Americorp and they did a lovely job.


What happened to his hair?

First station, the Brain.

Light it up!

Just like beams of light are in constant motion in this light, thoughts in the brain are constantly in motion.

Proper brushing is essential to keeping a bright smile for life.

Pink, pink, I love being pink!

We all want the lung on the right.

If your bones are this color, get thee to a doctor.

Bones are the foundation to the body's structure.


The students enjoyed their trip through the body. They learned they could make choices to improve their health. They can pick water over soda and fruit over chips. They can be ‘healthy from the inside out.’


Fruit is good.

Healthy snacks





Body Walk in Lee County, Lawndale Elementary

Lawndale Elementary

Body Walk rolls right along. On February 21st and 22nd Body Walk was at Lawndale Elementary. Beth Randall, 4-H. who booked the exhibit for her county and Jan Garrett, Extension Program Assistant, helped make the event a success.

We saw just over 500 3rd-5th grade students. Lawndale is a very colorful school. One of the great things about Body Walk is how it travels all over MS, seeing all the different elementary schools MS has to offer. This school delighted the eyeballs.

Colorful concrete tables on a patio.

Colorful flowers brighten the most overcast day.

No boring name plaques here. Each teacher has a painted sign outside her classroom.

Our set up, take down, and volunteer crew were student interns from Ole Miss. They were all seniors, majoring in Elementary Education with graduation expected in May. They did a great job. The music, art, and computer teacher also served as station volunteers. We set up in the gym and coach Bo Boatner did a great job staying on top of the third grade quizzes. He had a quiz and pencil ready for third-grader as they exited the Body Walk.

Our brain is INSIDE our head.

Look at that giant tongue behind them.

Two volunteers teach students how and why teeth brushing is so important.

What's that stuff hanging from the ceiling?

Learning about our intestines and the role of villi.

Look at our guns!

Strong muscles let the body move. It's important to work the muscles to keep them strong.

Protect your skin from the burning sun and germs.

The kids and the volunteers had a great time. When the students got to the Pathway of Life (a review of all they just saw), they called out correct answers to all the questions they were asked. Many children wanted to go through again and they all wanted to know when Body Walk would be back. When asked if they would drink more water, and eat more vegetables, they said, YES!

The press came and checked out Body Walk too. Here’s what WTVA had to say about Body Walk.

Next stop, Adams County.