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Creating Healthy Kids in Mississippi

Over the years, we have done a lot of work combatting childhood obesity in the state of Mississippi. We’ve been fortunate to partner with a number of organizations with like missions of creating healthier children and communities around the state. Recently we heard from the Mississippi Food Network (MFN), who hosted events at two of their supper sites in Greenville and Hattiesburg, Mississippi.   

During spring break, MFN hosted a farmers market fair at each of the sites, where they purchased produce for the farmers market and children were able to shop the healthy fruits and vegetables free of charge. Through the event over 660 pounds of produce was distributed to the children between the two supper sites. In Hattiesburg, a registered dietician from Stretch-n-Grow did a little bit of physical activity education with the kids, along with some nutrition education. In Greenville, the focus was more on Choose My Plate. 

The Organwise Guys materials played a huge and fun role at both events. The Foods of the Month spin board was used by the children, who spun and whatever food they landed on, they got to taste test. Through the taste test, children were able to taste fruits and veggies they may have never tasted before this event. The same things was done with the Wheel of Health board, which focuses on physical activity. The kids had to demonstrate the particular activity that the spinner landed on. The kids loved this activity!

2015 MFN Farmers Market1 2015 MFN More Pics 4 2015 MFN1 copy2015 MFN More Pics3

Thanks to Mississippi Food Network for sharing this with us! We love seeing such great things being done in the communities of course the healthy kids in Mississippi!

Faith-based Nutrition Education Programming

10377261_10203119308199971_1481142448833932256_nLast month, Dr. Danielle Hollar, Principal Investigator of the Thriving Communities, Thriving Children (TC2) project, funded by the WK Kellogg Foundation, presented data on The OrganWise Guys nutrition education materials used in a faith-based setting. The poster in the picture below was presented at the annual American Public Health Association conference in New Orleans, LA.

Data from this poster were taken from the WK Kellogg Foundation Funded project Healthier Options for People through Extension 2 (HOPE2), which took place between 2009-2012. In HOPE2, a mini-grant component was created to offer OWG materials to communities where grant activities took place. Various faith-based institutions in the communities began implemented the OWG materials as result of the mini-grant component.

We learned that faith-based organizations can successfully lead obesity prevention education programming in their churches as well as outreach ministries in the community. Key staff enjoyed being trained on the OWG materials and, as a result, they were able to use the OWG materials in a consistent manner. Thanks to these findings, we have been replicating faith-based projects in the TC2 communities through mini-grants.

Some great ways to incorporate the healthy messages of the OWG into regular faith-based activities include using the Foods of the Month kit for potluck dinners/lunches or other meals served at church, and using the OWG doll or other materials to during community meetings or community outreach.


TC2 Assemblies in the MS Delta

We want to give a big OrganWise shout-out to Ms. Linda Johnson and the rest of the staff at Lyon Elementary School in Lyon, MS! At the beginning of the school year, Lyon Elementary, along with the other three elementary schools in Coahoma County School District, received The OrganWise Guys Comprehensive School Program thanks to funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as part of the Thriving Communities, Thriving Children (TC2) project.

This fall, these schools kicked off their OWG programming in a unique way that we think is worth sharing! Instead of the typical assembly format with one assembly for grades k-2 and one assembly for grades 3-5, these schools performed their assemblies on a smaller scale. Teachers reported that having the assemblies in individual classes worked out great. At Lyon Elementary, the assemblies took place for one week during regularly scheduled PE time. Doing the kick-off assemblies this way is a great alternative to school wide performances, especially if it is difficult to get large groups of students together.

Check out the photos below to see the children in action – learning about healthy eating and good nutrition and also getting lots of exercise. Way to go Lyon Elementary staff and keep up the great work!Lyon Elementary OWG Assemblies 4

Lyon Elementary OWG Assemblies 8


Lyon Elementary OWG Assemblies 3

Welcome New Thriving Communities, Thriving Children Sites!

We are kicking off the second year of our Thriving Communities, Thriving Children (TC2) project, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation! Over the past month, we have had a blast introducing The OrganWise Guys nutrition and healthy living education programming to early childcare/Head Start centers, schools and Foodservice Departments in Mississippi and Louisiana.

A warm OrganWise welcome to the new sites who are having fun using their OrganWise Guys materials. The following locations have received their materials and training this fall. They include:

Friar’s Point Elementary – Coahoma County School District, MS

Jonestown Elementary – Coahoma County School District, MS

Lyon Elementary – Coahoma County School District, MS

Sherard Elementary – Coahoma County School District, MS

Booker T. Washington Elementary – Clarksdale Municipal School District, MS

Kirkpatrick Elementary – Clarksdale Municipal School District, MS

George  H. Oliver Elementary – Clarksdale Municipal School District, MS

Myrtle Hall Elementary – Clarksdale Municipal School District, MS

Coahoma County School District Foodservice Department

 Clarksdale Municipal School District Foodservice Department

Aaron E. Henry Head Start Center – Coahoma County, MS

Bertha Blackburn Head Start Center – Coahoma County, MS

Friar’s Point Head Start Center – Coahoma County, MS

Jonestown Head Start Center – Coahoma County, MS

Incarnate World Head Start Center – New Orleans, LA

St Mary’s of the Angels Head Start Center – New Orleans, LA

Louise Head Start Center – New Orleans, LA

St. John Head Start Center – New Orleans, LA

LaFitte Head Start Center – New Orleans, LA

Causeway Head Start Center – New Orleans, LA

Grand Isle Head Start Center – New Orleans, LA

Kenner Head Start Center – New Orleans, LA

Terrytown/Gretna Head Start Center – New Orleans, LA

Bridge City Head Start Center – New Orleans, LA

Clay Street Head Start Center – New Orleans, LA

Jutland Head Start Center – New Orleans, LA

Lapaico Head Start Center – New Orleans, LA

Caitlin Training TC2