MEIGS COUNTY — Live Healthy Appalachia was awarded $9,000 in funding from the Sisters Health Foundation of Parkersburg, West Virginia, to expand its Live Healthy Kids (LHK) program to 2nd grade classrooms in Meigs County, Ohio.
Live Healthy Kids is a 22-week nutrition education program that familiarizes students with healthy, whole foods, improves students’ ability and willingness to make healthy choices, and encourages increased physical activity. The program has been implemented in Athens County second grade classrooms since 2011. In more recent years, the LHK program has expanded to school districts in Washington County, Ohio, Wood County, West Virginia, Integrated Services in Franklin Country, and Davidson, North Carolina.
Eastern Elementary School, Meigs Primary School and Southern Elementary School have each signed Memorandums of Understanding agreeing to implement the program in the 2019-2020 school year. Live Healthy Appalachia is excited about the opportunity to continue expanding the program to districts in Appalachia Ohio that value the important role nutrition education plays in decreasing high rates of childhood obesity and improving health outcomes among students and their families.
Heather Dailey-Johnson is the physical education teacher at Southern Elementary School and will facilitate the LHK program at Southern Local Meigs. Mrs. Dailey-Johnson expressed support for the program in a letter to the Sisters Health Foundation on February 19th.
“Southern Local is one of the poorest districts in the state and I see first-hand a great need for nutrition education programming that encourages students and their families to make healthier choices. The Live Healthy Kids program aligns with initiatives the school is implementing, and changes I am making as the physical education teacher to better support increased physical activity and healthier eating habits.”
Meigs County will also pilot the program using LHA’s new Learning Management System (LMS). The LMS hosts LHK training, curriculum and supplemental materials on a user-friendly online platform. The purpose of the LMS is to improve access to the LHK program for districts outside of Live Healthy Appalachia’s geographic reach. Live Healthy Appalachia will continue to offer teachers support and technical assistance to ensure the program is effectively delivered, and will continue to measure impact using pre- and post-test surveys.
Megan Norris, Director of Children’s Programming at Live Healthy Appalachia explains, “We are grateful to the Sisters Health Foundation for granting us the means to impact the health of Meigs County students and their families. The LMS online portal is a great tool that will also make the expansion into Meigs seamless and consistent.”