Live Well Alabama
As a lifelong teacher, Le’Anne Almond, SNAP-Ed educator in Houston and Dale counties, still enjoys watching her students get excited about nutrition education. As part of her 13 Body Quest classes at Midland City, Cottonwood, Webb, and Ashford Elementary Schools, the students’ growth from start to finish reminds her every week why she loves her job.
“When we start the program, the students usually aren’t super excited about the idea of eating vegetables all the time,” Almond said. “But, after a few weeks, they are asking for their favorite leafy vegetable or something new to try because they want to try everything.”
Body Quest is an innovative childhood obesity prevention initiative that empowers third graders and also parents to make healthier choices. Almond also enjoys watching students motivate each other to be active and the joy they get when trying new water recipes or the Sugar Shocker activity, which shows how much sugar is actually contained within sugary drinks.
“I see and hear about them in their physical activity classes challenging each other to be more active throughout the day,” Almond said. “It warms my heart to see young children wanting to eat well and be healthy.”
“Miss Body Quest”
Almond also knows the message is getting through to young students when she is in public and is noticed by a student. Whenever she hears “Miss Body Quest,” she knows a student is trying to get her attention to show her what their family is buying or introduce her to their parents.
“It is always a joy to see students get really excited about having vegetables in their cart at the grocery store,” Almond said. “Many parents also tell me that the kids love the course, which also lets me know we are reaching them the way we want to.”
In March, the COVID-19 pandemic caused Almond to find new ways to reach those who needed resources. She continued to work with food pantries to learn when food would be available, stayed in close contact with school systems to learn about school lunches and where those distribution sites would be.
Almond disseminated much of this information through social media to inform parents and SNAP-Ed participants about food resources and the changing nature of distribution sites. She informed the public about when food delivery resources would come to different parts of her area. Almond also worked through social media with a local church, which received a grant to deliver food to families who didn’t have transportation resources to get to a food pantry or distribution sites.
To find more success stories about SNAP-Ed educators, visit LiveWellAlabama.com.