Volunteers Give Back in Newton

AmeriCorps students from around the country have been in Newton for the last month at Central Mississippi Residential Center helping with various projects around campus. As part of their volunteer work, they educated young students at Newton Elementary about the body Tuesday morning.

Ana Rea, team leader for the AmeriCorps - National Civilian Community Corps team in Newton, explains, "We have been doing a lot of different environmental beautification projects around the campus, and we have also gotten to work with high school students and then at this point with elementary students. We are actually acting out as parts of the body. As the elementary students walk in, we tell them what the different parts of the body do, and we educate them on how to keep those parts healthy so that they can have a healthy and long-lasting life."

Body Walk is an interactive exhibit that travels around the state of Mississippi teaching students about healthy habits, and in doing so, is trying to curb childhood obesity in the state.

Katie Bouchillon, Body Walk Coordinator, says, "A direct way is like when they go in the stomach room, and there we talk about the my plate and how they should have the bulk of their plate be fruits and vegetables, and grains, and lean meat, and that sort of thing, so they're getting that strong visual. They're seeing what foods they should actually be eating look like."

While students are busy learning about the body, the school itself is building relationships with others in the community to bring added value and instruction to the students.

Dean Reid, principal at Newton Elementary, tells us, "We believe the Body Walk is a really good way for students to learn about the body and it just enhances other things that we teach in the classroom. Quality instruction is one of our main goals for increasing that achievement, but we want to build lasting relationships with the community as well."

AmeriCorps volunteers will also assist in the Newton Christmas events on Saturday.