Kysha Rooks is new food, nutrition educator for Rowan County

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 30, 2021

Kysha Rooks is the new Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) educator for Rowan County. EFNEP is a federally funded program of Cooperative Extension through North Carolina State University. Rooks has lived in Kannapolis since 2006. She is originally from Roanoke Rapids in the eastern part of the state. She has an associate degree in human service technology from Stanly Community College. In her free time, Kysha enjoys skating, tennis, volleyball, dancing, live concerts, gardening, interior decorating, visiting historic sites/museums and spending quality time with family and friends.

EFNEP is a free program designed for limited resource families. In partnership with the Eat Smart Move More N.C. initiative, EFNEP classes are taught by trained educators to help families, youth and pregnant women learn new skills to cook healthier meals at home, save money on food costs, learn kitchen safety skills and improve their overall health.

EFNEP offers a youth and adult curricula.

Kysha Rooks

The Show Me Nutrition (SMN) is a nutrition education program for youth. There are lessons for grades Pre-K through eighth grade. Participants engage in age appropriate, interactive activities. The program promotes healthy eating, positive body image, physical activity and food safety. Through each interesting and fun nutrition class, students gain the skills necessary to make healthy and tasty meals for their families.

With the Camp, Cook, curriculum youth ages 8-12 will have fun in a summer camp setting where they will learn about MyPlate and the five food groups, kitchen and food safety practices and physical activity. This curriculum is developed to positively affect five key health behaviors:

  • Increase the youth’s knowledge of human nutrition
  • Increase the variety of foods in the youth’s daily diet
  • Improve the youth’s ability to select low-cost, nutritious foods for meals and snacks
  • Improve food preparation and food safety practices to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses
  • Increase daily physical activity

The Teen Cuisine curriculum is designed to teach youth in grades 6 to 12 important life skills to promote optimal health — both in the present and in the future. The curriculum addresses key concepts about nutrition, food preparation and cooking, food safety and physical activity using approaches and strategies that enhance learning and behavior change among teens.

With the program “Families Eating Smart and Moving More” EFNEP adult participants learn new strategies/skills to feed their family nutritious meals on a limited budget and improve overall physical health. Participants are provided various skill building items such as a cutting board, thermometer and cookbook to further enhance their skills at home. Each participant earns a certificate and cookbook at the completion of the class series.

Rooks’ goal as an EFNEP educator in Rowan County is to help participants and herself to become more health conscious about food choices, food costs, food/kitchen safety and moving more daily. She’s looking forward to meeting awesome people in the community. Contact her for more information about upcoming classes at the Cooperative Extension Office at 704-216-8970.

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