Resource support

Kysha Rooks: Communities in schools and EFNEP try to support pupils – Salisbury Post


Communities in Rowan County schools are collaborating with the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) in Rowan County.

CIS, the country’s leading community organization helping young people stay in school and prepare for life, started in Rowan County in 1998 and was established in 2001. CIS serves select schools in Rowan-Salisbury.

CIS’s mission is “to surround students with a supportive community, enabling them to stay in school and succeed in life”.

James Davis is executive director of CIS.

I met him in September at a Zoom meeting with Food and Farm Network (Bread Riot), co-founders Carol Schmitz-Corken and Dottie Hoy and other organizations that serve the residents of Rowan County.

Food and Farm Network is an organization that helps fight food insecurity in the county. The program also aims to educate Rowan County residents about healthy food choices and provide networking opportunities to vendors, consumers and farmers across the county.

After a successful meeting with Davis on how EFNEP could benefit his organization, I was linked with Student Support Specialist Lynette Wilson and Agriculture Professors Katie Dionne from North Rowan Middle and Lashunda Durham from Knox Middle.

The role of the Student Support Specialist is to bring community resources to schools to promote success for all students by removing barriers for those at risk of dropping out. They strive to keep kids in school and on their way to graduation by leveraging local evidence, connections and resources to get results.

I currently teach Teen Cooking, a culinary and nutrition education program for teens in grades 6-12 at both schools. Classes last one hour a day for six weeks and are designed to teach important life skills to promote a healthier lifestyle.

Key elements are food and cooking safety skills, new healthy recipes, meal planning, food preparation and cooking, reading nutrition labels, knife safety skills, building teams and adding daily physical activities.

I would like to thank Directors Knox Middle and North Rowan Middle, CIS, Director and staff for the opportunity to allow EFNEP to be part of educating and encouraging students to eat healthy in general. .

Kysha Rooks is the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) educator with the NC Cooperative Extension. Contact her at 704-216-8970.