Kate B. Reynolds grant helps ECSU promote health, wellness

Kesha Williams
February 08, 2005Elizabeth City State University, (ECSU) is the recipient of a grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. The $382,000 grant will support the expansion of the Body Basics Fitness Program at ECSU. In the past, the Body Basics Fitness Program served university students at the ECSU Student Health Services. It provided nutrition and fitness workshops as preventive measures for obesity and to decrease the risk of developing chronic diseases related to obesity. In the future,it will also serve clients who are already overweight. Administrators are expanding the program from the university to serve youths attending Pasquotank County Schools and those living within the Elizabeth City Housing Authority. To accommodate the clients, the grant administrator will increase the fitness equipment available at the Student Health Services, Viking Village Residence Hall, and the Housing Authority. The grant will be paid over the course of three years in the amount of $169,000 in 2005, $114,000 in 2006 and $99,000 in 2007. Administrators will begin operating the program in August. A team of nurses, extension agents, a public health educator and an aerobics instructor will collaborate to execute the program. The ECSU Student Health Services will hire a public health educator. The team will include nurses from the ECSU Student Health Services as well as a nutritionist from the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Agency. Other partners will include Albemarle Hospital, the Albemarle Family YMCA and Albemarle Regional Health Services. Regina McCoy-Davis, Director of Student Health Services at ECSU, wrote the grant to address the obesity epidemic. "We are excited to receive funding from Kate B. Reynolds Trust. We are looking forward to working with our collaborative partners to make the program a success," McCoy-Davis said. "It is important we address these issues-eating habits and proper exercise-in the formative years." To stir interest and commitment among participating youths and young adults, the professionals will rely on Peer Health Educators. These student workers from ECSU will train for the job then volunteer up to 40 hours a semester. Efforts are underway to recruit Peer Health Educators. Participants may have academic majors that pertain to health, fitness, nutrition or other fields of study. Please contact Beverly Shannon, 335-3267. For more details on the program, contact Regina McCoy-Davis, Director of Student Health Services and the grant administrator, 335-3267.