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.
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