By Johanna Hicks, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Family & Community Health Agent, Hopkins County, [email protected]
This is the second of the program impact summaries provided by Hopkins County Family & Community Health Extension.
According to https://nccd.cdc.gov, Hopkins County has a population of approximately 37,211, with 19% of children living in poverty 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 (32% of Hopkins County population)
- adult smoking (20%)
- uninsured (24%)
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 and Cumby ISD’s for their 2022 summer day camp program. The target audience was students grades 1-5. Collaborators in the effort were:
- Department of State Health Services (session on water/sun safety)
- United Healthcare (session on dental care)
- Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center (sessions on stranger danger)
- Barbara Bush Primary Campus (facilities for sessions)
- League Street Church of Christ (facilities for hands-on cooking session)
- Cumby School campus (facilities for sessions)
- Hopkins County Master Wellness Volunteers
- Healthy Texas Youth Ambassador
A total of nine sessions were provided, including a 2 ½ hour hands-on cooking session for Sulphur Springs students. Sessions included: physical activity at each session, “Color Me Healthy” curriculum, nutrition, importance of breakfast, MyPlate, sun safety, water safety, stranger danger and more. The hands-on cooking session included reading and following a recipe, food safety, hand hygiene, and kitchen safety. Incentive items were distributed to reinforce information learned: MyPlate plates, exercise bands, MyPlate flying discs, sports bottles, aprons, and more.
A retrospective 11-question post survey was distributed to 2 Sulphur Springs classes (30 returned) and 14-question post survey to 2 Cumby classes (20 returned). Surveys included multiple choice questions, true/false questions, and intent to adopt practices learned during the sessions. Students indicated learning:
- 100% (50/50) were able to identify dairy products from a list
- 100% (50/50) were able to identify recommended number of minutes of physical activity
- 100% (50/50) were able to identify the best beverage for hot days
- 90% (45/50) were able to identify what to do in the event of severe weather
- 88% (44/50) were able to identify sedentary behavior vs. physical activity
- 88% (44/50) were able to identify foods in the protein group
Intent to adopt practices:
- 100% (50/50) indicated that they will drink more water and fewer sweetened beverages
- 96% (48/50) indicated that they plan to eat breakfast every morning
- 88% (44/50) indicated that they plan to eat more fruits & vegetables
I know statistics can be boring, but they certainly help tell the story about the impact of these programs! Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is all about education and helping people have better lives. I want to thank the two schools for allowing me to be part of their very successful summer camp program!
A year is basically 365 opportunities for something great to happen!
Contact Johanna Hicks, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Family & Community Health Agent in Hopkins County, P.O. Box 518, 1200-B West Houston St, Sulphur Springs, TX 75483; 903-885-3443; or [email protected].