Jones Wheat students explore how body works

Published 2:33 pm Friday, September 20, 2019

HealthMPowers hosted their body walk exhibit Wednesday afternoon at Jones Wheat Elementary, where students of all ages learned about different parts of the body and how to best care for themselves in a healthy way.

State Representative for Snap-Ed, Latrish Davenport was in attendance for this year’s exhibit and thought the walk through was really neat.

“It was a really interesting way to present how your food interacts with your body and it’s very kid friendly,” she said.

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Davenport’s organization is an obesity education awareness program and funds HealthMPowers. Through the funds, HealthMPowers creates programs that address primary prevention for obesity and physical activity and nutrition.

Some of the things the students see when walking through the body include sugar intake, bone strength and healthy lungs.

The children learn how much sugar can be in a soda or Gatorade instead of water and how that will impact them throughout the day. They also learn the benefits of drinking milk with calcium and how it will strengthen their bones and one section focuses specifically on the lungs and the dangers of smoking. Students see firsthand the buildup of tar that smoking can leave behind and they also see a display of what healthy lungs look like.

Program manager, Raschell Downer said the kids usually learn the most in the lungs room.

“That’s where they usually put two and two together and have questions about smoking being bad for you,” Downer said. “A lot of kids will come out of there and say they need to tell their parents to stop smoking because they don’t know it’s bad for them.”

In addition to the lungs room being the one the kids learn the most in, Downer said that room has also seemed to have the most impact on them, because it’s a room where they see something that they may be witnessing in their everyday life and can change.

Third grader, Brody Harrell said his favorite room was the lungs, because he didn’t know the ribs protected the lungs. He did, however, already know about the dangers of smoking, but it became even clearer when seeing it in person.

Following the presentation, HealthMPowers leaves materials for the teachers in case students have additional questions they don’t want to ask in front of their class.

HealthMPowers hopes to return again next year and continue their partnership with the schools. They will then bring something different for the students to try that will focus on an area of health and wellbeing.