College puts well being of rural children, Native American population front and center

Children living in remote rural areas will be much better off thanks to a proposed initiative aimed at improving their way of life.

Parmelee children (lower left) watch as a new playground system is installed, thanks to a grant from the Larson Foundation and GameTime. SDSU students went on the road to assist in the assembly process.

The Rural Child Well-Being Education and Research Center is in the planning stages. When the center is up and running, it will be an important resource and research outlet for improving the physical
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activity, nutritional, and educational needs of rural children. “It’s a work in progress, and before we can say

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we are a center in front of the Board of Regents, we have to have research grants coming in,” says Professor Kendra Kattelmann, coordinator of the didactic program in dietetics. “We also need to further

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define the mission and goals of the center.” The center will consist of faculty from the College’s four departments offering their educational skills: health and nutritional sciences; consumer sciences; counseling and human development; and teaching, learning, and leadership.

Before the new system, all the children had for a playground was a dirt pile.

Kattelmann indicates that faculty comprising the Rural Child Well-Being Education and Research Center will work to improve the well-being of rural children. “The College departments will have the expertise to look at healthy families, healthy schools, and individual healthy behavior.” The idea is to provide the necessary resources and research in improving the physical riteaid pharmacy health of children, according to Kattelmann, who indicates schools aren’t being singled out, but rather what does the community need to do to encourage more physical activity? “That’s when the center comes into play,” she says, “because faculty in the departments can offer their expertise to address issues such as that. Faculty in their field are always looking at innovative ways of doing things better.”
Challenges are unique

CY Wang, associate dean of research and Extension, indicates the challenges that face rural children in the area of wellness are unique. “Wellness includes physical, mental, and intellectual,” he says. “The issues they natural herbal viagra face are different than a city kid or a small-town kid.” He points out that access to things are different such as rural children having to take long rides on school buses, traveling a distance for the right foods and medical attention. “One of our goals is that we need to do research and outreach work to turn some of those adverse situations into opportunities.” When it comes to a child’s nutrition, a holistic approach needs to be taken, according to Wang, who notes scientists are delving into nutrigenomics research, which refers to why people require different nutritional needs. Wang relates the best physical issues also involve the best nutrition for a child, along with the right physical exercise and the right mental health. “Often times,” he says, “people think you only need to see a therapist when something is wrong with you, but there are many preventative things you can do to build that well-being into the child.”

No stranger to outreach

Paul Fokken, associate professor in the Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences, is a member of an outreach committee that has continued collaboration initiatives with the Native American population. Other members of the committee are Karlys Wells, Extension associate; Mary Moeller, assistant professor in teaching, learning and leadership; Jan Moen, program assistant in the College; Suzanne Stluka, expanded food and nutrition education program coordinator; Carla Anderson, student services center coordinator/advisor in the College; Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, assistant professor of consumer sciences; Shelly Brandenburger, instructor in health and nutritional sciences; and Ruth Harper, professor of counseling and human development. Fokken brings unique experience, particularly in the area of parks and recreation. Between 2007 and 2009, he and former SDSU Professor Russ Stubbles collaborated with the Rosebud Reservation to create new recreation opportunities in the communities of Mission and Parmelee on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. With a grant through the Larson Foundation, they installed a commercial playground at a domestic abuse shelter in Mission, replacing its “mom and pop” swing set-up. “It was amazing how much a difference that made for the kids and staff members,” recalls Fokken. The neat thing, too, according to Fokken, students in SDSU’s cialis 20mg kaufen Park and Recreation Management Club and students from Harper’s CHRD 771, student personnel programs and services, as part of the class’s annual trip to Sinte Gleske University, went on the road and assisted in putting the playgrounds together. A little more than a year later, a grant from Larson and GameTime resulted in a new playground system for a park in Parmalee where students again assisted with the installation. “The Parmelee children were there watching us put it together, anticipating something new in their neighborhood,” he says. “Before, all they had for a playground was a dirt pile.” “It was a great learning experience for them. Anytime you can make a difference in young people’s lives is wonderful, especially when our students go and see the impact that is being made.”

Kyle Johnson

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