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All Aboard the Veggie Train, with CCOR Nutrition Educator, Kim Smith
Learning about "GO" & "WHOA" foods in the Healthy Kids Club

Outreach is central to CCOR’s goals to develop and enhance partnerships with community agencies in an effort to combat childhood obesity. We currently provide nutrition and physical activity education to preschoolers, school-age children and adults throughout Central Pennsylvania. While many events are funded by the Center, much of our community outreach for low-income audiences is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through the PA Department of Human Services (DHS), known as PA SNAP-Ed.

To learn more about our Community Outreach programming, click below

Preschool Programs

Our Healthy Kids Club (HKC) program sponsored by SNAP-Ed, provides nutrition education for children enrolled in Head Start with the intent of improving healthy eating and increasing physical activity. During the 2017-2018 school year, we provided programming to 1,270 preschool-age children enrolled in 75 classrooms throughout 7 Pennsylvania counties. We have 3 full-time nutrition educators who deliver lessons at least once a month in each Head Start classroom using the Coordinated Approach To Child Health (CATCH) Early Childhood Curriculum. Kids learn about “Go” and “Whoa” foods and also are exposed to new foods through food tastings. Head Start teachers also participate through providing follow-up activities and teaching lessons to reinforce lesson content.

Whole wheat crackers and apple slices are a tasty and healthy snack!

Whole wheat crackers and apple slices are a tasty and healthy snack!

Kids walking in line in a 'veggie train'

Kim Smith, one of CCOR’s Nutrition Educators, takes kids All Aboard the Veggie Train in one of her monthly nutrition lessons!

Pepper tasting

Preschool kids trying red bell peppers and pita bread with hummus as they learn all about making healthy snack choices.

School-Age Programs

Programming for K-12 includes the following:

  • Our nutrition educator for Bradford/Tioga counties, sponsored by SNAP-Ed, delivers nutrition education to school-age kids over the summer through our partnership with the Tioga County Partnership for Community Health “Fit for Life” Program. Lessons are delivered from the CATCH Kids Club curriculum and include food tastings. We hope to expand our school-age programming this year – stay tuned!
  • Community Education Extended Learning (CEEL) Program events at the Ferguson Township Elementary were sponsored by Dr. Jennifer Savage Williams, Director of CCOR, and her Community Nutrition 456 students in the planning and implementation of interactive learning experience booths on nutrition and health topics for elementary after school students. This activity provided the students with a unique, enriching, hands-on, learning experience. 
  • An Earth Day event at the Ferguson Township Elementary School was sponsored by Dr. Jennifer Savage Williams, Director of CCOR, and her Community Nutrition 456 students in the planning and implementation of 10 interactive learning experience booths that approximately 380 students rotated through. This activity provided the students with a unique, enriching, hands-on, learning experience. As part of this event, the center partnered with Leslie Pillen, sustainable Student Farm Design Coordinator at Penn State University, in installing a community garden at the school.
  • CCOR sponsored Registered Dietitian, Katie McNitt attended Camp Energy, a week-long camp where youth ages 11-18 who have or are at risk of overweight/obesity interact in nutrition and exercise education. The vision of this camp is to develop healthy habits in youth to prevent and treat obesity and provide a support network for youth in this endeavor.  Activities included hands-on opportunities to try new physical activities, recording food and exercise, trying new foods in a positive atmosphere, learning to cook healthy meals, and incorporating attainable goal setting into daily life. 
  • CCOR sponsored an outreach event at the YMCA where quick, healthy meals & snacks were discussed with nutrition and the importance of a healthy diet. A food tasting for 32 YMCA campers, aged 6-12 years was offered at the YMCA of Centre County held at 115 W. Streamside Place, Springe Mills, PA.  CCOR staff coordinated event plans, interfaced with community partners, & implemented all activities in the field. 
  • CCOR sponsored a green smoothie demonstrations at Park Forest Elementary and Radio Park Elementary schools where we served green smoothies tastings to over 500 children and provided nutrition education on dark green vegetables and fruit.
Adult Programs

Adult programming, sponsored by SNAP-Ed funds, aims to reach and engage low-income parents and caregivers in a variety of ways.  Featured below are two of those programs:

  • We partnered with the Head Start Home Visitation Program to provide nutrition education to families during regularly scheduled visits. CCOR trained Home Visitors to deliver four “MyPlate for My Family” lessons in the home, and surveys were collected to assess changes in knowledge and behaviors. Two-hundred fifteen families received the lessons, and a portion of those completed the pre- and post-survey packets. This study revealed that families that received the lessons as intended enjoyed the lessons and learned from them. Further research is needed to determine the best way to engage Head Start Home Visitors and their families when providing nutrition education.
  • Through the preschool Healthy Kids Club program, educational handouts and other items that reinforce the nutrition and physical activity messages being taught in the classroom are sent home to parents and caregivers.  In addition, CCOR participates in several Head Start family events and health fairs each year to reach parents and caregivers in-person, allowing those in attendance to taste new foods with their children! Outside of Head Start, our nutrition educator in Bradford/Tioga hosts community workshops for caregivers served by the Tioga Bradford Housing & Redevelopment Authority.