• 72°
franklin county times
PHOTO BY LAUREN WESTER RMS students (left to right) Kate Grissom, Abigail McMicken, Carmen Valdez, Miriam Sanchez Cotoc, Hannah Figueroa and Allie Scott learn from Extension agent Lakita Page as she discusses the basics of nutrition and health with them during first period.

RMS students CATCH up on nutrition

Nutrition knowledge is on the rise at Russellville Middle School thanks to Lakita Page, EFNEP educator with the Franklin County Extension office. Page conducted the first of six CATCH program lessons for the year Sept. 25 in Rachel Agee’s first period class at RMS.

CATCH, a coordinated approach to child health, is a school-based program that focuses on teaching students about the proper nutrition and physical activity they need, Page said.

“It’s important they learn this at a young age so it will follow them into adulthood,” Page said.

Page projected her prepared Word document onto a screen, and students in Agee’s class followed along with their own paper packet of information. Page shared basics like the proper amount of physical activity needed, listening to the body’s cues and the correct portions needed for a balanced diet.

The following lessons, Page said, will be on snacks and screen time, beverages, fast foods, breakfast and bone health.

“It lines up with our curriculum already set in place and really enhances what the kids are learning,” Agee said.

These lessons fall under Teen Connections and Teen Discoveries, which constitute the Family and Consumer Sciences program at RMS. She said her seventh- and eighth-graders will be benefiting from these nutrition classes.

As part of these special classes, students also receive healthy snacks to eat and participate in light physical activity, such as alternating toe touches and marching in place.

“It’s really about helping our youth make better health choices,” Page said.

An essential part of helping them make better health choices is getting the parents involved too, which is why Page gives the students a family sheet they bring back after they go over it and fill it out with their parents.

Agee said she loves working with the community like this and is hopeful students will learn a lot from the program.