CHELSEA BARBER COLUMN: Cooperative Extension offers many resources for teachers

Published 11:59 am Wednesday, December 15, 2021

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I am Chelsea Barber, nutrition program assistant working with the NC Cooperative Extension in Stanly County.

Chelsea Barber

My job is to go into the community to educate the youth about the importance of eating healthy food items, staying physically active and provide recipes and cooking demonstrations for participants. Being a new staff member to this position, it has been a bit challenging recruiting participants for the programs I offer. I’m aware of the demanding deadlines and schedules that our teachers in Stanly County are facing, but let’s try to partner up and help each other out.

If you’re a teacher and you feel as though you wouldn’t have enough time in your schedule, I would only need to come into the classroom once a week for 30 minutes at a time. I can also teach an entire grade level in a day. My lessons include fun and interactive activities that get the students up and moving while learning about the importance of healthy eating, and to top it off they get to enjoy a healthy snack at the end of each lesson.

This will not only keep the students engaged in the classroom, but it also gets them excited about learning information that may not always be included in their core classes. Let me take it a step further and provide you with a curriculum list of what I offer and see which one fits best for your classroom.

OrganWise Guys, grades K-2, uses puppets to represent different internal organs. Students learn about how and what we eat affects our bodies while empowering them to be “smart from the inside out.”

Go, Glow, Grow, grades Pre-K-5, simplifies MyPlate with six lessons focused on grains, proteins, dairy, fruits and vegetables along with the importance of staying physically active and practicing proper hand washing skills. Each lesson features a story booklet and interactive activities that build upon the booklet.

Speedway to Healthy, grades 3-5, is designed to include hands-on activities that stress the importance of healthy eating and its relationship to good health. Since we are unable to host the exhibit, NC A&T is in the process of making this experience virtual so students can still experience what Speedway to Healthy is all about.

Teen Cuisine, grades 6-12, provides a hands-on cooking experience that teaches the students crucial life skills for eating smart, which will stay with them as they grow into adults. The lessons cover how to choose healthy foods and prevent food-borne illnesses along with hands-on cooking demonstrations for each of those lessons.

Learn to Be Healthy is an online learning site designed to help educators and parents communicate important health concepts to students. These lessons include interactive games, activities, WebQuests and more. The goal of the site is to inspire students and their families to make healthy choices that will last a lifetime.

Eat Smart, Live Strong, for adults and seniors, is designed to improve fruit and vegetable consumption as well as physical activity among those aged 60-74. The curriculum promotes two key behaviors: consume 3.5 cups of fruits and vegetables per day and participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days.

After reviewing the programs I offer, I hope that you are excited and ready for me to bring them to your classrooms. If you have questions or want to set up dates and times for me to come into your schools, feel free to contact me, Chelsea Barber, at or 704-983-3987.