ST.MARYS, W.Va. (WTAP)- A project that started four years ago continues to develop healthier habits in three West Virginia counties, including Pleasants.
The program is called the Healthy Children Project and targets children 2 to 5 years old.
It is a grant program supported by West Virginia University, extension offices of the university and the CDC.
St. Mary elementary, Belmont Elementary, and Little Helping Hands Day Care all benefit from the grant as they teach children healthy habits.
Being the fourth year of the project, the Pleasants County hopes to focus more on getting parents and the community involved. According to one of the agents, this year they plan on getting more build board signs and shopping cart signs with the project’s message on it.
With each county initiating different ways to promote the project, participating classrooms in Pleasants County host family fun events, farm to school projects, and coming up this spring farmers markets for kids and families.
Dianna Lewis, Pleasants county Extension Agent for WVU, explains what she does when she visits classrooms. “I take in different fruits and vegetables from the color that they are working on that particular week and we do a taste testing. They decide if they like it or not and some of the kids get real excited about trying new things; some are a little leery about doing it. But we all take ‘no thank you’ bites and then decide if that is something we would like to have more of. So hopefully that is encouraging them to eat healthier, eat smarter and taking that message home to their parents.”
Because Pleasants schools joined in on this program, the county also received mini grants that went towards health promoting programs in county schools, libraries, and parks.
The grant ends in September of 2018.