08/01/04 — Nutrition project is winner

View Archive

Nutrition project is winner

By Other
Published in News on August 1, 2004 2:03 AM

CHICAGO -- A rising sophomore at Eastern Wayne High School, Melissa Ricker, won a Gold medal at the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America National Competition in Chicago last week.

Her winning entry was a project titled "Students Do the YMCA." Melissa helped more than 100 Brogden Primary students develop healthy skills through the "Student Body" National FCCLA Program. Melissa is the daughter of Greg and Leslie Ricker.

Through the EWHS chapter, Melissa researched the "Student Body" FCCLA project and designed a nutrition and activity lesson where students would grasp the importance of eating fruits and vegetables and exercising for a minimum of 30 minutes a day.

Melissa chose eight classes at Brogden Primary and gave all 118 fourth-grade students a pretest measuring these concepts. Pretest results showed that none knew the importance of specific vitamins and less than 25 percent said they consumed the recommended five fruits and vegetables daily.

Melissa taught her interactive nutrition and activity lesson and assigned the students to keep a log for five days of fruits and vegetables they consumed and what physical activity they participated in. Due to a contribution by Goldsboro's YMCA, Melissa gave the 95 students who finished their log a free pass to the Y for themselves and their families. Forty-five percent met the requirements of eating a minimum of two fruits and three vegetables a day and getting 30 minutes of daily exercise.

A post-test revealed that as a result of Melissa's project, 90 percent of the participants knew the importance of Vitamins A and C and could give reasons why fruit and vegetables were nutritious.

Melissa graphed the students' success, printed her digital pictures for her show board, gathered school and News-Argus publicity, and developed a 15-minute Power Point presentation. Her work was featured in the April 2004 State FCCLA Competition where she was the state's only entry in her National Programs in Action Junior Division to compete in Chicago. Based upon her score sheets from three judges, and competing against all other states, she achieved a 98 percent rating on the national level for her work.

Sherry Aycock is Melissa's Foods and Nutrition teacher and an FCCLA adviser.

Nearly 5,000 students attended the Chicago convention.