The difference others can make

Very seldom does a week go by that we don’t witness the value of community support, teamwork between volunteers, civic organizations and local government agencies that ends up benefiting one or more sectors of our county in some way.

This week, the Speedway to Healthy program fits the bill.

It started Monday when city rec officials teamed with Cooperative Extension staff and members of the Clinton-Sampson Rotary Club to erect a 1,200 square foot walk-through exhibit that teaches school-age children about nutrition and the importance of good eating habits.

Actually it started before then, with Cooperative Extension agent Sydney Johnson coming up with the idea of health-related workshops that were then supported by the United Way of Sampson County. From that idea came the Speedway to Healthy, a program developed by the 4-H Youth Development sector of the Cooperative Extension program at A&T State University.

The planning and eventual erection of the massive walk-through exhibit took the combined help of many, all who were willing to work together for the good of children who have since enjoyed the exhibit and learned from it.

The exhibit allows students to travel through the brain, the mouth, the stomach, the lungs, the heart, the intestines, the kidney, bones and skin, all as a means of learning what happens to these organs when poor eating habits take place and, just as importantly the impact healthy eating can have.

The interactive, vibrant walk-through exhibit, complete with teeth you can sit on, offers youngsters a hands-on learning experience that they won’t soon forget.

But it could not have happened without the hands of many.

And that’s what we laud today — the efforts of community-minded individuals willing to set aside time and work side-by-side with others to complete something that became a learning experience for so many.

It is one of the things people in our community do best. Armed with a desire to help, and putting immense action behind words of support, people from all walks of life are willing to roll up their shirtsleeves and work their hardest for the good of others.

In a Sampson Independent news article written by reporter Chase Jordan, third-grade students Grace Faircloth and Aubrey Herring are great examples of why the efforts made by others are so important.

After completing the walk-through Tuesday, the Mintz student, when interviewed, said: I learned that it’s good to exercise a lot.”

Classmate Aubrey Herring, added: “I learned not to smoke and not to have (unhealthy) drinks.”

Volunteers who worked to make this exhibit possible should see by those comments that their efforts were worthwhile.