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2022: Year In Review – Child Health/Wellness

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Johanna Hicks

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. 

Relevance

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%)

Response

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

Results

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!

Closing Thought

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].

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Author: Faith Huffman

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