Enrichment program to focus on tooth care

Published 1:18 pm Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Students participating in the enrichment camps at U.S. Jones Elementary School this summer will spend some extra time learning about how to live a healthy lifestyle.

The initiative is the result of a partnership between USJ, the Tombigbee Healthcare Authority and Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital. Students participating in the camps will spend one hour each day June 6, June 11 and June 18 at the Theo Ratliff Activity Center focusing on a different aspect of healthy living.

The first program, which will take place Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. will concentrate on dental care.

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“Some of the area dentists have given toothbrushes and floss and different things for the children,” Judith Hood, an LPN who is conducting the programs, said. Hood, whose efforts are made possible by the Health and Wellness Program though the Rural Assistance Program for Churches and Schools, said the endeavor with students in the enrichment camps came about after camp organizers contacted her office.

“We were called and asked to do a different set of topics relating to health,” Hood said. “We want to encourage them to eat healthy and teach them how to brush and floss so they can maintain good dental health throughout life.”

The June 11 program will see students learn about healthy eating habits while the June 18 date will educate students on the need for good exercise habits.

“When I started putting together the program, I thought about dental care and the fact that we have a lot of kids who overeat,” Hood said. “We have kids who don’t take very good care of their teeth. And we’re not getting enough exercise. I picked those three things because they seem to be big topics in our health right now.”