Cooperative Extension partnership helping students learn to live better


Dr. Prosper K. Doamekpor, Youth Extension Specialist, addresses Board Members and the audience on the impact of the 4-H Healthy Living: Youth Choice, Youth Voice Wal-Mart initiative.

TUSKEGEE, Ala. (November 26, 2013) The Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension Program in partnership with Alabama Cooperative Extension System is implementing the 2013 Healthy Living Grant in selected public and privates schools in urban and rural communities across the state. The Walmart Foundation announced its continued support of 4-H Healthy Living programs with a new $2 million donation to expand the Walmart 4-H Youth Voice: Youth Choice program in Alabama and 20 other states. Through the support of this grant, trained teen teachers (Youth Extension Paraprofessionals) take leadership in promoting healthy lifestyles, making informed and healthier choices during in-school and afterschool clubs, and healthy living camp settings.

Being a strong supporter of 4-H Healthy Living programs for several years, the Walmart Foundation has granted $4.3 million dollars to the program since 2009. The 4-H Healthy Living: Youth Voice Youth Choices programming currently targets youth and families in Macon, Houston, and Jefferson counties in Alabama. These are counties where obesity prevalence is between 34 and 47 percent, and Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension Program (TUCEP) is partnering with Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES), public and private schools, and community youth groups to reach a much larger target audience. 

TUCEP healthy living programs continue to provide curriculum-based training workshops to 12-15 year- olds (7th-9th graders). This age group is taught ways to reverse and prevent childhood obesity through knowledge of healthy foods, dietary choices for family, hands-on- food preparation training, increased physical activities and ways to avoid deceitful media adverts targeted at youth of all ages. The Walmart 4-H Youth Voice: Youth Choice program in Alabama will engage young people and their parents by focusing on forming healthy eating habits based on the "My Plate" dietary guidelines provided by the United States Department of Agriculture. The curriculum developed and used includes tips on personal finance education, social etiquette, importance of staying and completing school and making informed career choices. TUCEP will expand programming to reach 3,000 or more youth and families with this grant opportunity. A community gardening component will be added to complement on-going community gardening grant currently being implemented in some of the targeted Black Belt counties, providing additional health benefits all year round.

In addition to Alabama, this gift from the Walmart Foundation will support 4-H Youth Voice: Youth Choice in 20 other states including: Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virgin Islands, Virginia and West Virginia.

From L to R: Macon County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Jacqueline Brooks, Board Members, Tuskegee Institute Middle School (TIMS)Principal, Mrs. Rosemary Wright and Dr. Prosper K. Doamekpor, Youth Extension Specialist, receiving smart televisions and XBOX 360 game console and games.

© 2013 Tuskegee University

Back to News Listing