Delta State University College of Education with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation - Healthy Campus/Community Initiative in Coahoma County and Clarksdale Municipal school districts
The Coahoma County Healthy Campus/Community Initiative was designed to provide a sustainable model for a healthy culture worthy of replication. As part of the commitment of the Initiative, the Coahoma County and Clarksdale Municipal School Districts are major collaborators in spreading the message of health and wellness. Using resources from various counterparts within the College of Education, Healthy Campus/Community Initiative planners created a free nutrition, health, and academic curriculum called C.O.R.E. Nutrition.
The C.O.R.E. Nutrition Program is an extension of the pilot program that began in the Cleveland School District, which is now being implemented in Coahoma County’s Lyon Elementary to foster healthier students through focused afterschool activities. Goals are to increase awareness of the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, to encourage behavior modification during meal selection, to promote healthy eating at home, and to instill a foundation of health and wellness for improved lifelong health habits.
Another program offered by the partnership is the S.W.A.G. Fitness Program, which was developed to increase nutritional knowledge and educate students about benefits of physical fitness. It was offered to seventh and eighth graders in two Coahoma County schools. The fitness club met monthly and provided opportunities for students to talk to registered dieticians, to complete physical fitness routines with fitness experts, and to learn yoga. Students also were issued pedometers and took part in a step challenge, with rewards given for students who reached their step goals.
Another partnership program is called Fit-Tastic Friday, which targeted fourth grade students in eight Clarksdale city schools. During Fit-Tastic Fridays, students visit stations for physical fitness and nutrition and are tested on their knowledge about healthy eating and exercise.
School programs proved successful in raising awareness of the importance of being physically and nutritionally healthy. Participants reported a change in beliefs specifically related to the importance of nutrition and being physically active.