Hinds County Human Resource Agency’s Head Start program has teamed up with America’s number one nutrition education organization – The OrganWise Guys – to provide Head Start centers with impactful resources that will teach the students about the organs in their bodies and how to keep them healthy and working properly.
HCHRA received a portion of a $1.14 million grant from W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded to the Mississippi Food Network to improve health equity and literacy in children ages 2-10 in various low-income communities of Jackson, East Biloxi and Sunflower County, that would effect change through practical application by using evidence-based programs and resources. HCHRA used the unrestricted, non-federal grant funds to purchase Early Childhood Kits for each of its 16 Head Start centers. The age-appropriate kits are designed to be shared by the teachers, and they are re-usable. They include OrganWise Guy and Gal dolls, organ beanies, calendars, videos, posters, and access to the Foods of the Month website for monthly resources and downloadable activities.
HCHRA Nutrition Services Specialist Alphonso Lee states, “The OrganWise Guys focuses on combating childhood obesity and helps kids to be healthy from the inside out. It’s an evidence-based program and has been proven to be an effective teaching tool.” Health Services Specialist Anupria Davenport agreed, “The program teaches children about the organs and their nutritional needs, how their organs work, how certain foods interact with the inside of their bodies, and how proper nutrition helps their bodies grow.” Director of Children’s Services Dr. LaTessa Long added, “Our center administrators and teachers have been trained on how to use the kits and implemented the program in the classrooms at the start of the 2018-19 school year. They are using it to help our kids learn more about the organs of the body in a fun, educational way, while also teaching them how to keep their bodies healthy. The OrganWise Guys were recommended by the Mississippi Department of Education through its Office of Child Nutrition as a great learning tool for students. We are grateful to have received a portion of the grant to serve our Head Start community.” To learn more about HCHRA and its Head Start programs and services, visit www.hchra.org/programs or call 601.923.3930.