On May 11, Joyce McGarry, Michigan State University (MSU) Extension nutrition and food safety educator, was invited to visit Bath Elementary School in recognition of the school’s two new water-refilling stations donated by Delta Dental. She was asked to talk with 178 fourth- and fifth-graders on the important health benefits of water.
Joyce added visual demonstrations. With the help of student volunteers, she counted the number of teaspoons of sugar present in popular sports and flavored water drinks, and compared the results with water, which has no sugar.
Students also had the opportunity to share their knowledge of water and some of their own water practices. For example, one student said that as a treat, his grandmother allows him to drink pop at her house; otherwise, he only drinks milk and water at home. Having students reflect on their own experiences helps them to connect with what they learn.
At the end of the presentation, students were given water bottles that can be refilled throughout their school day. Joyce shared the importance of properly washing the water bottles on a regular basis to get rid of harmful bacteria buildup.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), providing drinking water to students helps to increase their overall water consumption, maintain hydration, reduce intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and may help improve cognitive function. One important way that schools can make a difference is increasing students’ access to water, and allowing them to bring bottles of water to class. Bath Elementary School took it one step further, adding in water and nutrition education by partnering with Joyce and MSU Extension.
Joyce felt that this was an excellent opportunity to engage with the students.
“What a great day to share with great kids!” Joyce said.
As part of a competitive grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Purdue University is establishing one of four regional centers for research into nutrition education and obesity prevention in a nationwide USDA project. As part of this project, Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Fitness Foundation will collaborate with Purdue University and the University of Missouri to enhance nutrition education and obesity prevention efforts in the Midwest.
Our very own Dawn Contreras, director of MSU Extension’s Health and Nutrition Institute, and Marci Scott, vice president of health programming at the Michigan Fitness Foundation, will serve as associate directors of the North Central Nutrition Education Center of Excellence, which will be housed at Purdue University.
Being part of this project isn’t just a great honor; it will also be a big strategic opportunity for MSU Extension’s Health and Nutrition Institute.
According to Dawn, “Nutrition education and obesity prevention are important issues for our state and the nation. The use of strategic connections is a key strategy for dealing with these issues. The new regional center of excellence will help us link faculty, nutrition educators and implementers, and partners in a way that facilitates increased knowledge and implementation of best practices for addressing the obesity epidemic. It is an exciting new endeavor for Michigan and our surrounding states.”
Great work from Dawn and our Health and Nutrition Institute!
Filed under grants, health
Rufus Isaacs and Doug Landis, both Michigan State University entomology professors who have MSU Extension and AgBioResearch appointments, have received a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to study the effects of grassland harvest on pollinator populations.
The research team is seeking landowners and managers to assist with the project this fall. Appropriate sites include those in southern Michigan with at least 10 acres of grassland that will be mown, not mown or mown leaving a 10 percent refuge strip. Landowners can keep the forage. The team will sample the fields for two seasons for bees.
The project will investigate ways to manage grasslands with minimal damage to insect pollinators.
The team will connect with Extension educators and specialists as the results of the research become available.
Read more here.
Thanks to a W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant, a partnership is developing new ways to provide Michigan residents with the information and help they need to raise healthy families.
The $650,000 two-year grant will help support the work of the Breast-feeding Initiative (BFI), a partnership between Michigan State University, MSU Extension and the Michigan Department of Community Health: Women, Infants and Children Division (WIC).
Beth Olson, associate professor in the MSU Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and AgBioResearch scientist, is principal investigator for the grant. She and Jean Kerver, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Patricia Benton, MSU Extension program leader in the Health and Nutrition Institute, will team up to develop and pilot a new method for delivering the BFI program. The BFI focuses on increasing the breast-feeding rates among women living in low-income situations.
Read more here.
Tomorrow is the last chance for Michigan State University Extension educators to sign up for the “Write Winning Grants” workshop sponsored by the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station. The daylong event takes place on Jan. 6 on the MSU campus. The cost is $90. If you are interested, you can sign up at http://www.maes.msu.edu/news/grantwrite_jan2011.htm. Available seats are going quickly.
The staff of Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) are experts at working with partners to obtain results that benefit individual youth and ultimately the entire community. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation launched a five-year, $75 million initiative, “America Healing,” that aims to improve life outcomes for vulnerable children and their families by promoting racial healing and eliminating barriers to opportunities. Sherry Grice, MSUE Calhoun County 4-H educator, was approached by the Albion Community Foundation director to assist in pursuing the W.K. Kellogg initiative with a grant proposal. The foundation called on Sherry to provide the leadership with Substance Abuse Prevention Services within the Albion community for the next three years if they were successful in obtaining the grant. Albion Community Foundation in partnership with Calhoun County MSUE 4-H Youth Development and Substance Abuse Prevention Services received a $120,000 grant for racial healing in the Albion community as part of W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s $75 million effort. The community partnership proposal was one of 119 chosen from among 925 grant proposals from across the nation
Albion’s “America Healing” initiative will focus on developing the leadership skills of local youth as they examine the root causes of racial issues that they face. The youth will use a racial healing approach to develop solutions for the problems they experience. Youth will participate in key programming such as Folkpatterns, a cultural-heritage project; 4-H Exploration Days, a pre-college program that exposes young people to diversity from across the state; and PeaceJam Programs. PeaceJam involves a two-day workshop at Western Michigan University in which the youth work with a Nobel Peace Laureate on social justice issues. The youth then take what they have learned and implement a community service-learning project in their community.
Hats off to Sherry for the terrific work that she and the youth are doing in Calhoun County.
Michigan State University Extension educator Leatta Byrd, M.A., R.D., recently submitted a grant proposal on behalf of the Kalamazoo County Breastfeeding Initiative (BFI) Program to Western Michigan University’s (WMU) Non-profit Leadership Program, WMU Students4Giving, which is part of the School of Public Affairs and Administration, American Humanities program. A $3,000 grant was awarded to Kalamazoo County’s BFI to purchase breast pumps for the BFI breast pump loan program for participating mothers. MSUE folks are notorious for finding opportunities to bring resources to support our programs – Leatta’s continued the tradition. Thanks, Leatta!
Leatta Byrd holds grant check to Kalamazoo County MSUE