Grant to PRCC continues Healthy People Now! program

September 30, 2010 - 11:40am -- braswell

POPLARVILLE - Pearl River Community College has received a $25,000 grant to continue and expand an innovative program targeting school-age students whose health is at risk.Healthy People Now! provides 3- to 10-minute, age-appropriate DVD programs that address health problems, including nutrition, stress, exercise and heart health. Production of the programs involves students in the college''s associate degree nursing program and in the television and film production class.The grant from the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation will extend the original three-year program, set to finish production in 2011, with the goal of expanding."This will allow us to continue to place our DVDs in schools in Hancock and Pearl River counties," said Lindsay Loustalot, PRCC''s Nursing and Wellness Coordinator and program executive producer. "The responses have been rewarding because at-risk students have been identified and received additional counseling after viewing our DVDs."Nursing students research each topic and develop the scripts. Students in PRCC''s television and film production class, taught by PRCC digital media coordinator Ronn Hague, videotape and produce the DVDs.''We are excited that such a worthy program as Healthy People Now! has been renewed and expanded by the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation," said Hague, who serves as video director. "This funding will not only help us place very pertinent dramatic illustrations into the classroom where they will help discover at-risk students, it will also provide my television and film production class continued opportunity to intern in a very professional environment with accomplished actors and the finest equipment."Healthy People Now! is an outgrowth of classroom demonstrations Loustalot started in 1998. Because the programs reached only 12 classrooms annually, Loustalot and Hague partnered in 2003 to produce short video programs that were distributed on a limited basis to schools.The program was funded in 2008 by the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation, allowing for the purchase of professional equipment and distribution to K-12 schools in both counties."This programmatic activity has created a wonderful opportunity for teachers, students and parents through the DVDs made available for instructional purposes to be much more aware of the circumstances our children face in their everyday school life," said Dr. Ted Alexander, chief executive officer of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation. "It has received an outstanding reception by the school districts in south Mississippi."