Poe Center to recognize Sampson County student

By: By Chase Jordan - cjordan@civitasmedia.com

For Savannah Royal and her schoolmate, it’s all about adding 25.

In celebration of National Nutrition Month, the student at Sampson Early College High School (SECHS) coordinated a project through the Poe Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to health education for youths and families in North Carolina. The organization is celebrating 25 years with its #Add25 challenge, hosted by Kate Peacock, Miss North Carolina 2015. It’s designed to inspire, students, staff and teachers to find creative ways to increase physical activity through social media.

“I wanted to do the #Add25 Challenge and get my school involved because I think it is important that people should make healthy choices throughout their daily lives,” said Royal, who picked the challenge as her senior project. “This challenge has actually helped me make better lifestyle choices and make changes to my daily food intake. I hope it has helped to encourage more people to do the same. It was fun being able to do the #Add25 Challenge in my school.”

With interest in the medical field, Royal shadowed Cary Booyer, a nurse in the Sampson County Schools District during the process. As part of the internship she reached out to the Poe Center to start a social media campaign to add 25 of something each day, such as 25 minutes of walking or 25 sit-ups. Additional glasses of water each month were also suggested.

While promoting the campaign, Royal sat in the cafeteria each day with blank poster, which were later marked with promises to students to become healthier. Pictures were added online.

“She walked around lunch and encouraged students to join the campaign,” said Elizabeth Griffin, SECHS program coordinator and assistant principal. “It was a neat project. She brought awareness to being physically fit and healthy.”

According to a news release from the organization, Peacock, and participating schools, posted hundreds of messages to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, which reached more than 52,000 Poe Center social media followers. As a result of having the most posts, SECHS and Royal will be honored by the Poe Center at the school’s senior awards night. Candice Lofton and Jennifer of the Poe Center are scheduled to make the presentation.

Located in Raleigh, the Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education was established in 1991 and provides health education to about 1 million children in North Carolina by engaging participants in interactive lessons and activities. Preschoolers through 12th-grade students receive information which follows the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Healthful Living Essential Standards. Some of the topics include nutrition, dental health, family life and drug prevention.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the #Add25 Challenge and partnering with the Poe Center,” Peacock said. “My goal was to reach as many people, especially children, in NC as possible and inspire them to make changes to improve their health and nutrition.”

Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

By Chase Jordan


Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.