Mississippi BodyWalk Blog

being smart from the inside out

Body Walk in Warren County, Vicksburg Mississippi September 21, 2011

Filed under: Body Walk — mississippibodywalk @ 3:29 PM

September has been a busy month for Body Walk. Recently the exhibit traveled to Warren County and stopped at two schools, Bowmar Elementary and Dana Road Elementary. A little over 300 children from each school went through the exhibit. Students K-5th enjoyed learning about the different parts of their body and how to keep those parts healthy. They began in the tent shaped like a giant head. Here they learned a few ways to keep their brain healthy. They learned why is so important to eat a healthy breakfast and why they should wear a helmet when riding a bike.

The Brain Station

After the brain station, they traveled through eight more tents. They were guided on their journey by the Organwise Guys. The Organwise Guys are a team whose sole goal in life is to teach healthy lessons to children. The students loved meeting Hardy Heart, Windy Lungs, Madame Muscle, as well as the Kidney Brothers, Sid and Kid.

Hardy Heart and Windy Lungs

I worked with Marcus Davis, 4-H,  who booked Body Walk for his county. I have worked with him before and it’s always nice to come to Warren County because I know he will have everything well planned out. He was ably assisted by Katrina Owens, Melissa Morgan, and Brenda McDevitt, all fellow Extension agents.

Katrina Owens and Melissa Morgan, Body Walk Queens

Vicksburg is a richly historic town and very interesting geographically. The town is composed of bluffs and ravines. There is very little flat land in Vicksburg, which makes building anything there quite a challenge. Bowmar Elementary was built in 1939. The building is perched high on a bluff, with steep ravines on either side of it. In fact, one cannot drive around the school. One can drive easily to the front. To get to the back, which is where the gym was located, it is possible to drive a roundabout path along narrow steep roads up to the school. If I ever decide to take up an alternative job, I feel being a truck driver in Peru along the mountain passes may be a good next career. Just kidding.

Back of the school. On the other side of those trees is a 60 ft (or deeper) ravine.

Driving straight down. What you can't see is the drop off behind the houses on either side.

All in all, it was a good trip. I learned a new variation on criss-cross applesauce. Criss-cross apple sauce, hands in the basket.  I plan to share that one as I travel. We had great volunteers at Bowmar and the kids seemed to really enjoy the exhibit. Jordan Amborn was the school contact and she really helped keep everything on track. Body Walk relies on volunteers for the set up, take down, and to work inside each of the stations.

Body Walk volunteers make it possible.

Next up, Desoto County


Body Walk in Alcorn County, Cornith September 14, 2011

September is a full month for Body Walk. My trip to Cornith MS was the first time Body Walk had been to Alcorn county. I worked the most with Tammy Parker, 4-H and Marea Wilson, Extension Nutrition Educator. They did a great job securing volunteers, and organizing everything. The secured donations from CocaCola for water and from the Magnolia Regional Health Center for healthy snacks. We set up at the Extension office and the children from 5 different schools came to us. We saw 1st, 2nd, and 5th graders from Kossuth, Alcorn Central, Biggersville, Glendale, and Rienz.

When the children arrived, they got to sit in a room separate from the exhibit which was great from a noise level standpoint. The children watched OrganWise Guys DVD’s while they waited for their group’s turn to begin. While in there, they took off their shoes and put them in a plastic tote that was already labeled with their teacher’s name. After that, they came out one group at a time to the waiting area. They then toured the exhibit. When they finished, they got to go to the Fitness Area, and dance for a few minutes. After the dance, they had a healthy snack. Then it was shoe time and off they went, full of new information about how to be healthy.

Pictures of a few things I LOVED.

Organized shoe containment

A waiting area for the group about to start the Body Walk.

Sign for the Fitness Station where students danced.

A healthy snack of water, fruit, and granola bar.

The waiting area was awesome. The chairs were set up near the brain. I could talk to each group of kids before they started. I explained the rules of behavior for Body Walk, and answered any questions. They had a designated place to sit, and they knew it was just a few short minutes before it was their turn to begin.

The volunteers for set up, station presenters, and take down were high school students from the Alcorn Career and Tech Center. They did a very good job. The set up and take down crew were good listeners and they worked together as a team. The station presenters had a LOT of enthusiasm. They really got into engaging the children in the material. They wore costumes and asked the kids lots of questions. They had fun and thus, the children had fun.

Fantastic student volunteers from the Alcorn Career and Tech Center

One of the best parts of Body Walk is interacting with the young children who see the exhibit. Sometimes they have really interesting questions. For example, “Are we going to have to drink something so our bodies will show up on an X-Ray?” “Are we going to get a shot?” The answer to both of these was a firm ‘no’. The relieved sighs could be heard across the room.

They year is off to a splendid start.

Next up, Warren County.


Body Walk in Quitman County, Lambert September 7, 2011

The new Body Walk traveling year has begun! The first trip of the new year was to Quitman County, Lambert Mississippi. Mari Alyce Earnest booked Body Walk for her county. We saw two schools, and covered grades, K-4th. We saw over 700 children in total. As the children toured the Body Walk, they learned about good health and good nutrition. They learned about portion size, why they should drink water instead of soda, why they should exercise and even why and how to brush their teeth. Body Walk is an interactive learning experience that covers many parts of the body, from the brain, to the bones, to the skin. Children need to learn they can make healthy choices for THEMSELVES and Body Walk helps to teach them that empowering lesson.

Teaching about the Brain

A healthy mouth comes from teeth brushing, flossing, and eating healthy food.

Drink EIGHT glasses of water a day.

The most interesting aspect to this trip was the volunteers. We had the same high school students for our set up, take down, AND station presenter crew! As I spent time with these hand-picked high school students from Madison Shannon Palmer High School, I could see why they were chosen. They did a FANTASTIC job. I could tell they were all responsible enough to be trusted to work with us all week and still keep up with their schoolwork.

A stomach should be full of healthy food.

The heart loves to exercise.

Healthy lungs never smoke

We set up in the Y.O. U. Center. This is a great facility with plenty of space. Children from Quitman County Elementary and Delta Academy walked or came on bus to tour the Body Walk. They loved the mouth. Sitting on seats shaped like giant teeth never fails to please. Helping everything run smoothly were local Extension staff, Ginger Rogers, Sherry Radcliff, Angie Crawford, Don Respess, and Charlestien Harris.

Strong bones are the foundation of a healthy body. Calcium is important for good bone health.

Muscles grow strong when you use them.

Keep your skin clean of germs, and protected from harsh sunlight.

Overall, this was a great first trip for the new traveling year of 2011-2012. This trip set a tone of smooth sailing and great days ahead. Thanks Quitman county for being a great Body Walk experience.

Reviewing all you learn is a great way to keep the knowledge for life.


Summer Travels for Mississippi Body Walk

While the exhibit does not travel in the summer, sometimes the Coordinator does. This summer I went to a Wellness Day event in Jackson, MS and a Health Fair in Clarksdale, MS. Both were informative, educational trips. I met a lot of great people and got to talk A LOT about Body Walk.

MS State University Extension Service

Body Walk was asked to participate in the IHL (Institute of Higher Learning) Wellness Day at the IHL Headquarters in Jackson. I am always happy to spread the word about Body Walk that I was happy to go. Once there, I met up with Bob Ratliff, (look up title) and Jennifer ?, from Mississippi in Motion. We had a table to ourselves. Ladies from the local extension service were there at their own table. They had a very informative display on fat and sugar. People can never to too educated on the fat and sugar content in food.

Learning about hidden sugar, fat, and oils from the Hinds county Extension Service.

Other groups were represented as well. The local Weight Watchers was there for anyone who wanted to sign up. The other colleges had been invited to participate and they did. They sent bottled water and brochures.

Overall, it was a great day for Body Walk. I talked about the goals of the program, (be smart from the inside out), some of the many ways parents can help children be healthy, and what behaviors parents can adopt so that children will copy them, and thus set a pattern of healthy behavior.

The more you use your brain, the healthier it will be.

The second trip of the summer was to a Health Fair in Clarksdale MS. This Health Fair was set up in (look up name of building). There were many, many groups there. Some were local to Clarksdale or the Delta, and some had traveled many miles. I was set up near a lady whose program was to increase EBT use at farmer’s markets and to teach EBT users that they can shop at Farmer’s Markets.

Blood Services bus

MS Children's Health Project

Down Home Delta Trolley

Citizens who came to the health fair could donate blood, learn about what services are available to the children of MS and learn some local history of the Delta and the use of trolleys. The Mississippi Department of Health had a representative there demonstrating the proper use of car seats. Others groups were explaining how to recognize or manage diabetes, how to recognize and control asthma, and more. For kids, there was face-painting and a giant blow up bouncy castle. One group was giving out sturdy empty backpacks, and other was distributing hand fans. There was a lot of good information presented at the Health Fair.

Local Extension at the Clarksdale Health Fair.

The local extension office was represented by Shanna Taylor and Tamara Wright-Robinson. Their booth had lots of good information on nutrition and healthy living.

I talked to most everyone who was working there about Body Walk. Most had not seen it before, except for the extension ladies of course. They had booked, or worked at Body Walk before when I was in the area. I talked to many parents and grandparents who came through. Only one lady was disappointed. She wanted BW to go to her grandchildren’s school. They live in Tennessee.

Overall, these summer trips were very educational. It was a great experience to be able to talk about Body Walk to such a varied audience, in two different areas of the state.