Eleven-year-old Isaiah Wright and 25 other children ages, eight to twelve, left PVAMU much more knowledgeable about nutrition, agriculture and physical fitness after participating in the Prairie View A&M Cooperative Extension Program’s Nutri-Cubs in Pantherland day camp August 11.
Following their “Eat Right, Play Right, and Live Right” theme, Cooperative Extension Program summer interns Wentrice Allen, Tenechia Beal and Christine Williams led the participants through interactive games, relays and popular dances, like the Cupid Shuffle and Soulja Boy’s “Superman,” serving as their physical fitness during the event. The three interns, who coordinated the Nutri-Cubs day camp, are also Human Sciences majors at Prairie View A&M University.
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Waller County PVAMU Extension 4-H agent Jernard McCray briefed the participants on 4-H, and shortly after the students were given survival kits with trail mix, sunscreen, water and a granola bar prior to taking a hay ride to the Prairie View A&M University farm.
Waller County PVAMU Extension agriculture and natural resources agent Kenneth McCullough hosted the farm tour taking students through the cattle farm and poultry and swine centers. McCullough told the participants fun facts about some of the crops grown and the feeding and management of animals.
“Hay for a cow is just like rice and potatoes for us,” McCullough said.
Wright seemed to enjoy the farm the most as he made name suggestions for one of the horses and finally voting for Jesse, a name one of his peers suggested. The participants stayed at the swine center the longest taking turns holding the newborn piglets.
After lunch was provided, participants answered questions about different foods and made food pyramid kabobs with bread, tomatoes and cheese that represented the different food groups.
Wright had no problem showing his excitement during the entire event, willingly volunteering to point out to his peers the various food groups such as grains and dairy without any problems.
“I learned about [the food pyramid] in kindergarten so I recognized that stuff,” Wright said. “My gym teacher used to tell us how to be healthy.”
Beal said she appreciated that the kids were able to have fun while learning and Allen was impressed with the turnout.
Newly hired Wharton County PVAMU Extension agent Ronda Jackson said she thinks the kids had fun as well. “I think the kids enjoyed it. I think they [interns]wanted all of the kids to participate and I believe they accomplished that.”
Tamia Dorsey, from Navarro, said that her favorite part was visiting the farm and looking at the animals.
“I liked going on the tour to the farm. I learned a lot of stuff I didn’t know,” said Dorsey, adding that she thought the silencer used to treat cattle was interesting.
Participants were given a pretest and posttest to judge their level of gained knowledge during the camp.
Beal said she hopes the day camp can be a yearly event and wants to see more kids and more activities next year for them to learn.
Written By: Whitney Harris, Student – PVAMU
Photo credits: Alecea Rush, communications specialist – Cooperative Extension Program