AgriLife’s Hicks receives state awards for educational programs

Hicks receives state awards

Johanna Hicks, Hopkins County Family and Community Health Advisor, recently returned with honors from the 2022 Texas Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences State Conference. The Healthy Texas Award was presented at the TEAFCS Awards ceremony in Decatur, TX, attended by extension experts from across the state. Her leadership at the Community Health/Wellness Alliance in conducting sessions at summer camps for students yielded impressive results. It all started when the usual “Kids’ Camp: Fun, Food, Fitness” was canceled due to the COVID pandemic. However, Sulfur Springs ISD developed a summer day camp for students in 2020, which has been held every summer since. Additional opportunities for Hicks and her staff arose when Cumby ISD added a camp program to its 2022 summer schedule. Hicks and her team stepped in to help run sessions.

Hicks and representatives from the Texas Department of State Health Services, United Healthcare, and Master Wellness Volunteers have made a lasting impact on the lives of these people by providing education on nutrition, physical activity, hydration, water safety, sun protection, stranger dangers, and bullying among students. Hicks provided incentive articles to reinforce the subjects taught, including MyPlate flying discs, sports bottles, MyPlate books, throwing balls, and more. Seven issues of the Color Me Healthy newsletter were distributed to parents with recipes, healthy eating tips, suggestions for incorporating physical activity into everyday life and more. The practical cooking courses in 2021 and 2022 focused on the importance of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. They also learned how to read a recipe, use the correct measuring utensils, hand hygiene, oven safety and food safety.

The results were impressive. 100% of participants reported drinking more water and less sweetened beverages. 100% also said they eat breakfast every morning, while 88% said they eat more fruits and vegetables.

Hopkins County District Court honored

The Hopkins County Commissioners’ Court was recognized at the 2022 Texas Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences State Conference. Hopkins County Family & Community Health Extension Agent Johanna Hicks was nominated by the court for her support and attendance at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service events. The Court, composed of Justices Robert Newsom, Mickey Barker, Greg Anglin, Wade Bartley and Joe Price, views Extension as a viable asset to the community and operates through Extension Committees and Task Forces. They attend the Expansion Leadership Planning Sessions, the Annual Expansion Banquet, and the 4-H Success Banquet when their schedules allow. Judge Newsom also helps recognize National 4-H Week by delivering a proclamation and words of encouragement to our county’s youth.

Judge Newsom was instrumental in encouraging county employees to participate in Walk Across Texas, an 8-week walking program designed to encourage daily physical activity, taking place in the fall of 2021. The event featured three official county teams as well as three other local teams. A total of 7,883.44 miles were logged. In the words of Johanna Hicks, β€œThe Hopkins County Commissioners’ Court is a shining example of support, encouragement and involvement in the work of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. From improving the Extension building to being involved with Walk Across Texas, each commissioner has inspired the life of Extension’s work in Hopkins County.”

Contributed by Johanna Hicks, BS, M.Ed. Photos from Callie Cline.

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