My name is Grace, and I am serving as an AmeriCorps member at the Monroe County Health Department. I work with the Kids Choice Program which visits rural local schools to teach the students about nutrition and physical activity. This quarter, we continued and completed our schools visits for the 2013-2014 school year. We shifted our focus to physical activity because we meet with students during recess, and have had an increase in regular attendance at Stinesville because the students really enjoyed the new outdoor games. During the last Stinesville lesson of the school year, we had the students complete post tests and were very pleased to see 6/10 of the students that completed both pre and post tests improved their scores by at least one point. Although it would have been nice to see a higher number, this is a great number considering the huge number of challenges we faced this year.
The program blog that was started last October was regularly updated roughly weekly with health posts, program updates, helpful nutrition links, and healthy recipes and saw an increase of 24 followers this quarter which nearly tripled the previous number of followers. [Check out the Kids Choice blog here http://kidschoiceprogram.wordpress.com/.]
This quarter, we also had the program’s first Kids Choice Carnival which was held at Stinesville Elementary for students and their families. We are very pleased with the outcome, considering it was the first year for the carnival. There were roughly 40 attendees. The carnival was composed of nutrition and educational booths, local organization booths offering nutritional or physical activity related resources, indoor and outdoor games, face painting, and delicious snacks. We were very happy that we were able to offer prizes and drawings for the games and attending as well as additional snacks after raising over $200 in gift cards, snack and prize donations thanks to generous local businesses. Our post event surveys that were completed by attendees showed they enjoyed the event and walked away with valuable information.