First of all, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! This time of year is when we reflect on the birth and life of Jesus as well as gather with family and friends. So from our staff to you, Merry Christmas!
Last week, I provided a brief summary of educational impacts in the area of diabetes management. This week, I’m sharing information about Extension activities pertaining to youth health and wellness – summer day camp in particular.
According to https://nccd.cdc.gov, Hopkins County has a population of approximately 36,810, with 21% of children living in poverty. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that an average of 21% of youth ages 6-19 are overweight. Additionally, approximately 24% achieve 1 hour or less moderate physical activity; an average of 45% consume less than 1 serving of fruit per day, and 50% consume less than 1 serving of vegetables per day. Other factors that can be a detriment to youth health and wellness include:
- adult obesity (31% of Hopkins County population)
- adult smoking (17%)
- uninsured (22%)
The Community Health/Wellness Alliance and Hopkins County Master Wellness Volunteers identified the need to continue addressing childhood health in the areas of nutrition, physical activity, and well-being. This was accomplished by partnering with the Sulphur Springs Independent School District 2021 summer day camp program.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension provided 8 sessions, each approximately 1 to 1½ hours in length. Incentive items were distributed to reinforce the topics taught. Sessions included:
- physical activity at each session
- “Color Me Healthy” curriculum
- imaginary field trips
- sun and water safety
- Hands-on cooking session on reading and following a recipe, food safety, hand hygiene, and kitchen safety.
- Seven issues of Color Me Healthy newsletter included recipes, tips for healthy eating, suggestions for incorporating physical activity into daily life, and more.
A retrospective 17-question post survey was distributed. Twenty-five surveys were returned indicating the following:
Students indicated learning:
- 100% (25/25) were able to identify dairy products from a list
- 100% (25/25) were able to identify recommended number of minutes of physical activity
- 100% (25/25) were able to identify the best beverage for hot days
- 96% (24/25) were able to identify safe food practices
- 92% (23/25) were able to identify what to do in the event of severe weather
- 88% (22/25) were able to identify sedentary behavior vs. physical activity
- 88% (22/25) were able to identify foods in the protein group
Intent to adopt practices:
- 100% (25/25) indicated that they will drink more water and fewer sweetened beverages
- 100% (25/25) indicated that they plan to eat breakfast every morning
- 88% (22/25) indicated that they plan to eat more fruits & vegetables
As a side note, the partnership with the SSISD earned the School Health and Wellness Award from the Texas Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences at the 2021 state conference.
Never underestimate the impact you may have on a child.
Contributed by Johanna Hicks