March 10, 2004 | By: Haven Miller

Organ Annie Doll

Elementary students in Pulaski County recently learned some valuable health lessons with help from “Organ Annie.”

Annie is a doll specifically designed for health education.  When her jacket is opened, students can see that Annie is filled with colorful cloth representations of human organs.  Each fabric-filled body part can be taken out for closer study, then replaced inside the doll’s body.

“Each organ or body part has a name, like Hardy Heart or Windy Lungs, and this is a much better teaching method for the children than just seeing a picture,” said Louise Moore, limited resource coordinator for the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Program, or EFNEP.

In Pulaski County , and many of the 60 other counties around the state where EFNEP operates hand-in-hand with local UK Cooperative Extension programs, EFNEP assistants are trained to provide the OrganWise Guys program to youth.  The idea is to reach kids early with fact-based information so they can make healthy choices throughout their lives.

“It makes learning fun, and if you make it fun children learn more,” said Brenda Williamson, Pulaski County EFNEP assistant. “We also use actual food items to show them healthy foods, and incorporate exercise into the lessons.”

Williamson and Moore said learning how to care for your health is especially important in Kentucky because of the state’s high incidence of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and other health problems. 

The children are learning important information they can use themselves and also one day pass along to their own children.

“We studied about how to eat a high-fiber diet and not to eat a lot of fattening foods,” said Caitlyn Mounce, a student at Hopkins Elementary.

“We were learning to exercise regularly and drink a lot of water and eat healthy foods,” said Jacob Rhodus, also a student at Hopkins Elementary.

In addition to offering a version of the OrganWise program for adults, EFNEP professionals also are cooperating with local health departments across Kentucky to conduct health programs jointly in communities.


Source: Louise Moore, 606-677-6186