On Wednesday August 30, DuBose Conference Center hosted the “Healthy Horizons” diabetes prevention and healthy living event for fourth graders from all six Grundy County elementary schools.
Coordinated by the Southeast Regional Health Office Community Development Director Beth Delaney, this program is a collaboration of the State of Tennessee and the Grundy County Health Council. Sofia Leon-Meza, Public Health Educator with the State of Tennessee, and Mary Jo Gallagher, Director of Grundy Coordinated School Health, helped plan the event. Over 130 students rotated through learning stations with their teachers, parents, and an army of community health workers and volunteers to learn about making healthy choices with respect to nutrition and exercise. Stations included Sugar Awareness, teaching students about dangerous levels of sugars hidden in many of the foods and drinks they consume; Anti-tobacco education; Bones in Motion, featuring easy to perform exercises; and Tai Chi, instructed by Folks at Home’s Kathleen O’Donohue.
Additional highlights included a tour of the center’s vegetable and herb garden, complete with a water-barrel demonstration, and the popular “worm petting” at the compost boxes, led by Katie Gray, DuBose’s gardener.
Parents were treated to an e-cig education session by Paula Collier and a cooking demonstration by DuBose’s own Angela Lanier and Stephanie Kelley, followed by a delicious and nutritious lunch.
Friends of the South Cumberland volunteer Marietta Poteet and Grundy County Health Department volunteers Dr. Barron and Angela Coffelt served as helpers, as did community members Emily Partin, Susie Sweeton, and Park Greer. Americorps VISTA workers Ashley Pancoast, Ritchie Wai, Erin Lee, and Emily Heid volunteered time, energy, and knowledge. Lacey Cote and Jeremy Taylor were on hand from the Volunteer Behavioral Health Care System, and Katie GoForth helped in planning.
Station leaders included Karen and Steve Wickham, Haley Colvin and Charlene Nunley, Chasity Melton and John Cunningham, Paula Magourik and Lynn James, Rhonda Miller and Belinda Layne, as well as Christy Keen and Sherry Cagle.
It was a day of fun and learning for young and old and will hopefully be an annual event at the center going forward. DuBose Conference Center is a historically Episcopal 501c3 nonprofit that has expanded its vision to include community outreach and engagement.