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MUW family studies program hosts Traveling Health Carnival
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Mississippi University for Women's family studies program in the Division of Education and Human Sciences is hosting a Traveling Health Carnival, which is visiting local day cares and instructing children on how to maintain healthy lifestyles.
The project involves MUW family studies' students and students from the Columbus High School McKellar Technology Center’s child development program.
Family studies Assistant Professor Deborah C. Bailey said, “In family studies we are concerned with all aspects of the family and in particular the general health and well-being of children. Last spring we invited day care centers in Lowndes County to partner with us so we could help them in serving the needs of families with young children. The Traveling Health Carnival is a special project designed to be educational and entertaining. It is our hope that children will enjoy the various booths which are all geared toward instilling habits that will help them develop healthy life styles.”
The Traveling Health Carnival is visiting childcare centers that are part of the MUW Lowndes County Child Care Community Partnership. The partnership consists of childcare centers, which accepted the family studies' invitation to work with them by providing support in teacher training and children’s programs.
The Carnival visited Montessori School and First Baptist Wee School. The Carnival is visiting the MUW Child and Parent Development Center on Friday, Oct. 10; Mt. Vernon Christian Learning Center on Monday, Oct. 13; Columbus Christian School on Wednesday, Oct. 15th and Columbus Air Force Base Development Center on Friday, Oct. 17.
The project began this summer in a Family Studies 425 Program Planning and Evaluation course. Family studies student Carol Russell developed the idea from research in the course. In August, Deidra Fitzpatrick joined Russell in organizing the program. They took the project on as their field experience project and prepared the booths and recruited participants.
Bailey said, “Family studies students are trained to be family life educators. The Health Carnival comes out of this in that we develop and facilitate programs that can help the families improve their sense of well being.”
The Carnival requires a team of 12 to 16 adults. About 20 family studies students are volunteering their mornings to help with the project. Other volunteers included students from the Pre-Professional Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, Phi Upsilon Omicron, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and members of our local Americorp.
Twelve students from child development technology at the McKellar Vocational Center are assisting with the Carnival on Oct. 6, 8, 15. Wanda Prowell, a family studies graduate, is the head teacher of child development technology at McKellar.
Bailey said, “Students in the child development program at McKellar work with the day care centers in the community. This project complements what Mrs. Prowell already does with her students and we are thrilled to have their help.”
Funding and donations for The Traveling Health Carnival came from The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, Phi Upsilon Omicron, The MUW Alumni Office, The 41st Flying Training Squadron, and The Grill at Jackson Square.
Bailey stressed “The Carnival was student driven and
operated on a shoestring budget. What my student’s are pulling together is
outstanding. The booths are beautiful and the activities are excellent. I
have to say that this is the best project I have ever seen students do.”
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