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55 new healthy-community projects in 29 different counties started in 2018 thanks to a Try This minigrant.

18-19 kids stretching
18-19 More than 75 volunteers showed up
18-19 water 10-2a
18-19 hydroponics
18-19 ActiveSWVWorkplacewellness
18-19 greenhouse
19-19 girl scouts at garden 015

Click the arrows at left and right to see pictures from 2018-2019 projects



Chestnut Ridge Education & Recreation Center:

This team is taking physical activity to the next level as they install doors, windows,  insulation heating, a/c systems, solar panels, and LED lighting inside a multi-sports called “The Epicenter”. The Epicenter will be a facility that provides recreational opportunities and education on physical activity.  The team will host three events at the arena in the first year of operations.  The grand opening will be in the fall, the second will be on Earth day, and the third will be on the Summer solstice. This project will be possible due to the help of 24 Alderson Broaddus University Go Give students providing 30 hours each of service work at the facility. The team will create a How-To workshop on the project displaying a playbook of activities as well as list of equipment and resources needed for other communities to replicate this project. The team will hold monthly events or activities after the facility in place. Partners INCLUDE: New Vision Renewable Energy, Cabits, Glogames/MacDonald’s Boxing, Barbour County Health Department, Alderson Broaddus University, People’s Chapel, WVU School of Public Health, West Virginia Child Nutrition Program, Barbour County Ministerial.

Project Lead: Ruston Seaman,


Philippi Super Seven Multi-Sports Arena:

This team will work with Chestnut Ridge Education & Recreation Center to construct a 36’ x 36’ super seven multi-sports arena, the Epicenter.  The team will engage community youth and volunteers will help build the structure by putting 100-man hours of labor.  When the multi-sports center is set the team will complete a drawing of activities the area offers and record and share materials needed to create the super seven arena to other communities. The team will host three events at the arena in the first year of operations that includes shooting contest, cubby ball tournament, three and me tournament. 10 Alderson Broaddus Go Give students will volunteer for 30 hours each at the facility. The team will raise the additional funds to construct a tennis and volleyball court. Partners include: Philippi Rec Committee, Code Blue, Philippi Youth Basketball Players, Barbour County Health Department, Alderson Broaddus University, Philippi Youth Basketball League, Philippi Police Department, City of Philippi Maintenance Department, Barbour County Ministerial Association.

Project Lead: Stephen Iwunor,


Kasson EAGLES (Everyone Accesses Great Local Exercise Safely):

By March of 2019, this team will have built a  ¼ mile walking and biking trail around the school for students, families, and community members to have a safe place to get some fresh air. The trail will be made wheelchair accessible and will include a bike rack.  The bike rack will make the school more bike accessible because students will be able to store their bikes there rather than loading them onto vehicles each time. Kasson Eagles will host one walk per month that is open to the entire community.  They will incorporate the walking and biking trail in their school curriculum or at least 1 after-school program.  This team will create a how-to guide to assist other schools and communities to replicate this trail project. Partners include: Kasson Parent Teacher Organization, WVU Extension Service, Master Gardeners, Kasson Elementary-Middle, Grandparent Volunteer Guide, Tygart Valley Trucking and Excavation, Site Liaison for Girls on the Run/Cross Country Coach.

Lead Contact: Jan Coffman,



Growing and Healing Hero House:

This team will engage six residents of Hero House to assist building four new 5×5 raised beds to start vegetable gardens. Each volunteer will learn gardening skills: how-to construct garden beds, plant seeds, maintain the garden, harvest plants and process the vegetables into healthy recipes. The team will add three new physical fitness resources and encouraging residents to participate. Each resident will develop a personal fitness routine. The team will develop “How-to guides” for (1) recovery homes to support their residents in developing individual fitness routines, (2) healthy eating in recovery, (3)  healthy cooking training for persons in recovery by hosting twelve culinary classes, (4) ways to raise community awareness around drug and alcohol addiction, stigma and healing. They will host a Day of Hope to bring awareness to the stigmas and problems of addiction recovery. The team will recruit at least ten volunteers for recovery projects from this event. Partners include: Hero House, WV Council of Churches, Grow Appalachia, Community members, Manna Meal, Appalachian Transition Fellowship, Step by Step Inc., Geri Olympics, Southern Fitness Gym, Big Ugly Book Project.

Project Lead: Jodi Roth,

Sherman High Reset Room:

This team will develop Reset train-the-trainer curriculum that incorporates elements of yoga, chi kung, tai-chi, mindfulness, breathing techniques and progressive relaxation, and meditation.   At least 10 teachers and students will become qualified trainers by attending a workshop session.  The Reset Room will be open about 5 times per week. Over 50 students will benefit from use of the space. They will hold Reset Sessions with a trained instructor once a month that is open to the entire school community. The team will survey teachers and students that participate in the Reset Sessions and evaluate the effectiveness of the program from the beginning of the school year to the end. They will develop a “How-To” manual for other schools who would like to implement a similar project. Partners INCLUDE: American Friends Service, Sherman High Staff, WV for Affordable Health Care, WV Kids Health Partnership, WV Aces Coalition, AFSC / Appalachian Center for Equality.

Project Lead: Elizabeth Brunello,


MF-Be Healthy:

This team will register as an employer in the CDC Worksite Health Scorecard, complete the assessment and review results with leadership and at wellness committee meeting. The team will conduct bimonthly meetings of Wellness Committee where nutrition education and physical activities are planned for 25 staff meetings and covering 24 new health initiatives. The team will host an exercise class each month at Mountaineer Food Bank facility immediately after working hours to draw employee participation, anticipate 50% staff participation and is opening class to the community as well. The project team will contract a biometric screener to collect health information from each employee who signs up to participate at start and end of year to measure success. The staff will engagement in setting personal monthly wellness goals and allowing work time monthly to review with accountability partner. The team will train at least 10 other food pantries on the model. Partners include: Mountaineer Food Bank, KISRA, WVU Extension.

Project Lead: Becky Conrad,


Free Community Diabetes Screening:

Twelve HSTA students will receive a 28-hour training on diabetes prevention that includes how to take nonprescription approaches to prevention.  The training will be from 5 WVU faculty members in medicine, pharmacy, and public health. They will screen 700 community members from 6 WV counties — Braxton, McDowell, Cabell, Lincoln, Monongalia, and Marion. They will put together a local resource handout for each county including local health providers, interpretation of A1c results, and educational information. They will put together a best practice sheet on how to connect with existing healthy community events. Partners include: HSTA leaders and students, McDowell County 4H Leaders Association, WVU Faculty.

Project Lead: Summer Kuhn,



Brooke County Schools Garden Enhancement:

This team will construct a hydroponic garden for the pre-K class at Brooke High by March 2019. They will purchase and set up 3 raised beds for Brooke Intermediate South and Brooke Primary North. Students at each of the Brooke County schools will participate in the taste tests and other Wellness projects sponsored by the health base center and WVU Brooke County Extension office. The project will teach 30% of students how to reduce risk of foodborne illness and safe harvest practices. The team will conduct onduct pre and post testing to better quantify the learners’ baseline knowledge and what they gained from their workshop participation. Partners: Brooke County Schools, Brooke Hancock Family Resource Network, Brooke County WVU Extension.

Project Lead: Nancy Karavalos,



Try THIS Huntington:

This week will hold obstacle courses engaging 40 children each week.  Staff and children will creatively design the obstacles courses. They will start a microgreens growing program educating children on benefits of indoor gardening. The children will consume fresh microgreen salads at least twice a month. They hope  sell excess microgreens to local restaurants, promoting entrepreneurship. The team will help children plant a mini-orchard which will begin producing apples, pears, peaches and plums within 2-4 years. They will transport 15 children to Huntington’s Kitchen 8 times during the next year to participate in healthy cooking classes. They will participate in at least 12 events, hosted by community partners and six Summers on the Terrace events to increase family engagement. During these events, they will serve a healthy dinner to approximately 100 people and offer fun, family activities. Partners include: Huntington WV Housing Authority, United Way of the River Cities,  Healthy Families, AETNA Better Health of West Virginia, Adolescent Health Coordinator Region 2, Valley Health, Facing Hunger Food Pantry, Gallaher Librar, Cabell County Schools.

Project Lead: Shane Randolph,


Emoga: Yoga for Emotional Intelligence:

Students will create their own breathing buddy that will emphasize mindfulness, relaxation, and positivity. They will learn focusing skills, calm down, and figure out that paying attention to their bodies help them relax. Students will monitor progress with a breathing buddy workbook that created by Meghan Salter and Jeannie Harrison, to be used as a way to monitor how the students progress. Elementary students will take a field trip to Marshall University in spring 2019 to work with Marshall University Edc ation students teaching them about the Emoga Program and learning about the Marshal trauma therapy dog program. Lead teachers, elementary students, and Marshall students will also present the results of this year long project at the end of the year Cabell County Wellness Council Meeting and the Marshall University School of Professional Development Meeting.  Upon completion of this project the students will become EQ (Emotional Quotient) Ambassadors. Older students will show younger students how to use a “Breathing Buddy” and will help build a breathing buddy station in at least one primary elementary classroom at their school. Each breathing buddy station will have yoga mats, bolsters, breathing buddies, and books that will be focused on mindful movement. These stations will help younger students achieve selfregulatory behavior, make positive connections with others, and develop self-esteem. Instructors will visit partner schools 1-2 times a month to implement Emoga.. Students will be administered the Adverse Childhood Experience Assessment . Partners include: Martha Elementary School, Grow Huntington and Karma Yoga Institute, Nichols Elementary 5th Grade Teach, Marshall University School of Professional Development and Education Department, Central City Elementary Special Education, Cabell County Wellness Council, Prestera Center.

Project Lead: Meghan Salter,


Hydroponics for Outreach and Education:

This team will engage and educate students and the community in alternative gardening methods such as hydroponics through open, free workshops. With 5 hydroponic towers, they will grow 124 vegetable plants and 32 micro-green plants year-round. They will expand on the open, free farmers market held on the Marshall University campus to include hydroponically grown food year-round. The team will partner with Marshall University Dietetics to promote healthy eating and alternative gardening practices at 26 local elementary schools and partner with Gro Huntington to provide alternative gardening training and workshops to the general public and to those in recovery programs. Partners include: Gro Huntington, Patch 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Marshall University Graduate College, Marshall University Dietetrics.

Project Lead: Amy Parsons-White,

Gro and Muv:

This team will hold two series of ten recovery fitness classes in community centers and schools, and a series of five gardening and life skills classes. The team will reach 50 students and aim for 80% percent of students to complete program and report improvements in mental and physical health. The team will host a trauma informed recovery teacher training, demonstrating how to implement recovery-based community fitness program in Spring 2019. They will train at least 5 teachers for program sustainability. Partners include: Gro Huntington, Cabell County TAG Program, Marshall University Sustainable Development, Yoga Karma Institute, Murphy Media Inc., Recovery Point West Virginia.

Project Lead: Jeannie Harrison,


Farming with Solar:

The team will install two 400-watt solar systems in their farm and garden and heat lamps in the high tunnel and chicken coop. They will create a duck/fish pond and install pond liner. The team will track their progress and create a “how-to” guide to share with other communities wishing to easily replicate the program. They will also conduct pre and post testing to establish baseline and ensure at least 10 students gain/increase knowledge, and integrate the program in at least one other school. Partners include: Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, Southern Application Labor School, Jarvis Hardware, SALS.

Project Lead: William Austin,




WISH CENTER - An Intergenerational Community Center:

This team will build garden 16 plots and build covered natural playground area by the summer of 2019. The team will engage 20 students and adults in over 300 volunteer hours by helping them constructs the garden.  The natural playground will be open to the public for use, and for parents and young kids from the WISH Center. The project will engage children and family growing food in healthy cooking classes for kids and families at the WISH Center with a partnership with the WVSOM Rural Health Alliance who will provide the educational materials for this portion of the project. The goal will be to have divided classes for kids ages 6 years and older. The team will document and compile plans into a how to guide for other communities and organizations to use for community gardens, natural playground and cooking classes. They will build a partnership with WVU Public health to assist with determining assessment measures, correlating data collection and evaluating data. Partners: WSS Farmer Market, WVU Public Health Department, Knights of Columbus, State Senator, Renick Community Center, The Hive, Greenbrier Health Alliance, Master Gardeners, WV Extension Office.

Project Lead: Martha Snider,


Resilience Building Skills for All:

The project team will provide eight classes in mindful movement, body awareness, and mindfulness meditation to community members, parents and teachers in Quinwood, WV. Participants will also receive recordings of guided meditations, links to other resources online, and written descriptions of all material covered in class to enable individuals to easily use these resources in their daily lives. The team will train at the House of Hagar in Wheeling WV to provide instruction to staff in self-care, mindful movement, and simple bodywork skills to reduce stress, relief pain and decrease stress and offer information to clients.  They will provide recordings of mediation resources, written instructions of appropriate material, and resources for accessing music that is stress reducing so that these resources can be easily available for staff and clients alike. The team will hold eight classes in mindful movement, body awareness, and mindfulness meditation to clients and staff at the Greenbrier County Day Report Center. The team will evaluate the program through before and after class that assess the benefit and accessibility of material for participants. The team will develop a How-To guide and present/train at least three other shelters to leave behind sustainable programs. Partners: Quinwood Town Hall, House of Hagar, Greenbrier County Day Report Center, Greenbrier County Health Alliance.

Project Lead: Lauren Wadsworth,


Mullens Food for Thought:

This team will build two new 8′ x 6′ x 7′ portable greenhouses. They will engage ten local elementary students for 150 hours of planting, maintaining the garden, and learning how to compost at home. The team will give hand-out materials to the local community to teach them how to save scraps to compost and how to grow their own vegetables. Partners include: Rainelle Agricultural Learning Center, Greenbrier Health Alliance, Quinwood Town Hall, WVU Extension.

Project Lead: Cari Harper,




Weirton Christian Center Community Garden:

This team will build a 10′ x 12′ utility shed to store gardening equipment.  They will also construct an extended shelter from the shed to hold community organic garden workshops/events such as vegetable & flower workshops, garden food prep workshops. They will engage 100 volunteer hours through civic groups, churches, and local school clubs. The team will provide fresh vegetables & herbs to the community soup kitchen, Table of Hope, which many families in the neighborhood depend on for dinner for three days a week. They will hold five educational workshops with the WVU Extension office of Brooke/Hancock County on gardening and fresh food prep for over 20 (children/adults) with the result of 10 community groups or families using the shed.  They will compile a complete “Community Garden Guide” for other community gardens in the city and surrounding areas. Partners include: Brooke/Hancock Family Resource Network, WVU Extension Office Brooke and Hancock County, Tri-State Master Gardeners Association, Weirton Christian Center.

Project Lead: Deronda Bruich,


See It & 3D It!:

Nutter Fort Intermediate has committed to provide the school’s physical education teacher the time ad resources required to learn curling rules, identify applicable WV Curriculum Standards, and write curling instruction lesson plans. They will introduce curling as a club activity for over thirty third, fourth, and fifth grade students. Students in the curling club will meet monthly to learn the rules and engage in physical activity by playing the sport, create supplemental equipment using our 3D print labs, and produce activity stations using purchased curling kits in combination with student-built 3D printed equipment. After learning curling during their club activities, students will teach curling to their classmates during their weekly physical education classes reaching over 500 children. Curling will be included as a fun family activity during an afterschool event to build parent and grandparent involvement. NFI students and teachers will document their progress throughout this project and complete a How-To Guide.This project combines STEAM and physical activity in an engaging, fun, innovative way. Partners include: Nutter Fort Intermediate staff, students, and parent volunteers,  Headstart, Central WV Community Action Inc., NF PTSO, Nutter Fort Primary, Harrison County Schools, Harrison County Family Resource Network, Partnerships for Success, Families Leading Change.

Project Lead: Kara J. Freeland,




CVT Natural Play Space:

This team will engage a minimum of five community members and ten 4-H volunteers totaling at least 60 community service hours to assist in building a Natural Learning Environment play space. Have 1,000 youth visit the play space for unstructured play in the first year. Host five programs in conjunction with educational events engaging at least 100 students in planting and tending the edible gardens. Create a How-to Guide by documenting the development of the space, including materials lists and editable documents such work day flyers and donation requests to help others in creating natural play spaces in their communities to be shared via flash drive. Partners include: Camp Virgil Tate, Kanawha 4-H, WVU Extension, KEYS4HealthyKids, Capital Conservation District.

Project Lead: Jason Young,

Financial & Physical Bootcamp:

This project will work with 5 youth participants aim to improve BMI level, and obesity rates from beginning to end of program by 25%. This project will show 25% improvement on youth endurance levels based on how quickly the obstacle course is completed from beginning to end of the program. The team will launch weekly boot-camps at 1 Step-By-Step afterschool program as a pilot group. The team will help 10 participants establish savings accounts with at least $100 by the end of September 2019 allowing the youth to develop lifelong financial skills. The team will partner with PTO’s/PTA’s to certify 5 parents through the National Financial Educators Council to serve as financial education instructors. The team will hold a Healthy Lifestyle and Physical Activity business plan competition with over 20 children and parent coaches split into teams. The team will create a “how-to” guide that will help other communities mimic the program. Partners include: Fun Fitness Kids Club, Families Leading Change, WV Autism, Step by Step Inc.

Project Lead: Traci Phillips,


Mindfulness/Tai Chi Catalyst4Change:

This team will conduct self-assessment questionnaires in a 6-week Mindfulness for Resiliency Program, in which 17 of the 25 students in the first session and 20 of the 25 students in the second session will exhibit greater pro-social behaviors, emotion regulation, mood, empathy, confidence, self-esteem, coping and social skills, with an increased focused ability to pay attention to foster academic performance psychosocial resilience. As evidence by teacher assessment tools, 23 of 25 participants in the first session and 24 of 25 students in the 2nd session will show a decrease in conduct problems, bullying traits, attention problems, test/academic anxiety to foster academic performance and psychosocial resiliency. Information and data will be gathered during each session, assessments will be completed and compiled, evaluations will be gathered and reviewed, a program manual will be developed and distributed in a way that the program can be replicated throughout the city and state. Partners include: Unicare Health Plan of WV Medicaid, Tai Chi Exchange, Chi Lin Association, Ruffner Elementary School, Mary C. Snow Westside Elementary School, Unitarian Universalist Congregation.

Project Lead: Ron Wilkerson,


Skate to Health Pilot Program:

The Skate to Health Pilot Program has partnered with Charleston Family Resource Center, an afterschool program that provides free childcare, tutoring, and meals to students living in low income neighborhoods in Charleston West Virginia.  Michael Farmer, CFRC After School Director, will select over 20 students from his afterschool sites to participate in the Skate to Health program. Each training session will last approximately 2 hours. The session will begin with 15 minutes of stretching/yoga. The class will then be split into two groups. As group 1 participates in a 45 minute group lesson with a certified United States Figure Skating/Professional Skaters Association coach, group 2 will participate in a nutrition lesson and activity with Jessica Pollitt-Hudson from the WVU Family Nutrition Program. Once each group has taken the group lesson and nutrition class, we will all get back onto the ice and play a game that reinforces the skills taught in group lessons. Each student will receive a membership from the United States Figure Skating Association, Charleston Figure Skating Club. By December 2018 a “how-to” guide will be submitted, so that other communities can easily replicate the program. Partners include: Charleston Figure Skating Club, West Virginia’s Promise, WVU Family Nutrition Program, South Charleston Ice Arena, Charleston Family Resource Center.

Project Lead: Dennis Johnson,


WELL Starts Here:

This project will engage 20 community members diagnosed with pre-diabetes, diabetes and/or high blood pressure will complete the wellness inventory assessment in 6 months. Participation will be tracked, feedback on SMART goals and articles to deepen learning will be assigned. The 20 community members of this cohort with high blood pressure will participate in the American Heart Association Check It. Change It. Control It and set goals to 10% drop in blood pressure within a 6-month period. 50% of the participants will see a 10% decrease in blood glucose in a 6-month period. 70% of the community members in the cohort will be active participants attending at least 5 out of 6 monthly sessions. The project team will encourage 20 cohort participants to perform physical activity by walking at least 100 miles in 100 days. Partners include: KISRA, WellBeing Solutions, WVU Medicine.

Project Lead: LaTausha Taylor,



Big Ugly Healthy Eating Playground:

The team will plant six fruit trees along a walking track at the Big Ugly Healthy Eating Playground by April 2019. The team will also build five raised beds will be built for small fruits and vegetables. The team will engage 10 local students in 320 volunteer hours to assist with constructing and planting the garden. They will develop a How-To Guide, so that others can easily replicate the program. Partners include: Step by Step, WVU Extension, US Navy, CAMC, Grow Appalachia, Coalfield Development.

Project Lead: Betty Thompson,

Community Center & Park:

With this minigrant, the West Hamlin team created a 28' X 50' covered concrete pad to be a basketball court or picnic area within the community center and park, partially covered to provide a place for year-round use. They landscaped the outer edges of the Community Center, ensuring proper drainage and a safe place for small kids. They created a booklet that will show how the community center project started and what has been done so far, including photos from start to finish and ways anyone can seek funding and public support.  The youth helped conduct various fundraisers, learning how to manage money and businesses.  Partners include: Lincoln County WV Go-Getters 4-H Club, West Hamlin United Methodist Church, United Way of the River Cities, Branchland Lumber, Armstrong Telephone Co., Lincoln Church of God, House of Prayer Full Gospel Church, Youth Works, Federal Small Business Administration, Town of West Hamlin, Joetta McCallister CPA.

Project Lead: Clayton B. Alford,



Paddle on Point:

This team will create a digital step-by-step instructional guide to assist others who may be interested in increasing water based recreational activities in their communities, free to download, share, print and use as desired. By April 1st, 2019 3-4 Mason County Yaks members or group partners will complete training and obtain the American Canoe Association Certification. The ACA certified instructors will provide safe water and paddling instructions to others at three water recreation related events within Mason County, WV. Mason County Yaks, the City of Point Pleasant and partners will acquire a minimum of 8 kayaks and 2 paddle boards and related equipment, such as PFD’s and paddles for use at Krodel Park. Partners include: City of Point Pleasant, Mason County Yaks, Rivers to Ridges, Mason County CVB.

Project Lead: Kevin Fooce,



Sandy River Farm/Market Project:

This team will engage 90 children at Sandy River Middle School in food production.  5 HSTA students will become mentors for Sandy River Middle School youth. The team will build 3 additional raised beds at Sandy River Middle School in 2018 and sell $500 worth of produce at the Laeger Market. Partners include: McDowell County 4-H Leader Association, WVU Extension, Reconnecting McDowell, WVU Community Development HUB, McDowell County BOE, Sandy River Schools, McDowell County Board of Education, Laeger Farmers Market.

Project Lead: Dana Lester,


Kids and Tennis After School Program:

The team will create a How-To Guide to teach other rural communities how to start an afterschool tennis program in conjunction with the United States Tennis Association. The team will engage 3 elementary schools with after school tennis programming in McDowell County. The project will provide after school tennis program activities to over 30 youth across all 3 sites.  The team will visit each school for 8 weeks. The team will build partnerships with 5 other programs and gain 10 volunteers for 100 hours total in the after school tennis program. Partners include: Grayhound Youth Sports, WVU Extension, United States Tennis Association, Reconnecting McDowell, Kimball Elementary, Pioneer Community Bank, Marden Physical Therapy.

Project Lead: Nate Smith,


Planting Tea for Recovery:

This team will lead a workshop to plant 2500 tea seeds with about 30 individuals recovering from addictions in McDowell County.  The team will teach the participants gardening skills, healthy eating tips, and low-impact physical activity.  They will develop an occupational therapy curriculum related to life skills training for individuals recovering to sustain a sober lifestyle. Occupational therapy services will be provided in the form of at least 10 group sessions and 30 individual sessions for willing participants who participated in the tea planting workshop. We will develop a how-to guide for others wanting to replicate Planting Tea for Recovery.

Partners: WVCC, Reconnecting McDowell, West Virginia Community Development HUB, Concord United Methodist Church, Local Occupational Therapist, Family Resource Network.

Project lead: Ginger Day,




Mineral County Healthy Lifestyles Coalition:

The team created a healthier, more organic atmosphere at two doctor’s offices and 1 Health Department by  placing fruit infused water in the waiting room with weekly recipes for patients to sample, providing pedometers with maps of local walking routes and trails, supplying packets of seeds with basic gardening information and class information, and  sharing a directory of local exercise programs, recreational opportunities, and groups. They helped students at two middle schools plan a community project, teaching them the mini -grant process and worked with Mineral County Schools to send students to the Try This Conference. The Kids on the Move activity program collaborated with the Burlington United Methodist Family Services Pathway Program, to provide youth with 30 minutes of physical activity 3 times a week,  a monthly recreational outing monthly such as bowling, swimming, skating, etc., job traaining skills, and a Monthly Community Service Project. They promoted usage of Keyser on the Move trails, replacing 25 signs, and organized walking groups 3 times a week. They created aa map of local walking routes, to be distributed to local health organizations. Partners include: Mineral County Resource Network, Mineral County CASA, Potomac Valley Hospital, Potomac State College, Mineral County Health Department, WV House of Delegates, Burlington United Methodist Family Services, Chamber of Commerce, WVU Extension Services.

Project Lead: Gerri Mason,




Commit to be Fit!:

The team will expand Substance Abuse Prevention programming to include healthy eating, exercise, and adequate sleep. The team will present SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness program to children ages 7-18 in Mingo County. They will evaluate the youth participating before, during and after completion of program to record the results. The team will train volunteers to become Train the Trainers (TOT). The team will create a youth advisory board and submit a How-To Guide, so that other communities can easily replicate the program. Partners include: Strong Through Our Plan, Mingo County Prevention Coalition, Freedom Full Gospel House of Prayer, Crossroads Recovery Home, ABLE Families, Mingo County Family Resource Network, Mingo County Schools.

Project Lead: Angela Sparks,




Katalyst: Empowering Younger Generations:

With its second Try This grant, this team established an executive team with 4 student leaders at 3 WVU branches: Morgantown, Martinsburg, and Charleston.  The team will establish 1 recruiter for each healthcare program outside of the WVU allopathic medical school program for dentistry, nursing, public health, osteopathic medicine, and pharmacy. The team will recruit at least 16 volunteers at each branch to join the program. The team will host two 1.5-hour training sessions at each branch in October and November 2018 to teach the volunteers about the protocol for each Katalyst station and designate volunteers to teach each station.  The team will use these stations to teach elementary and middle school students about the gastrointestinal, respiratory/musculoskeletal, cardiovascular/endocrine, and neurological systems. The team will recruit and present to at least 1 school at each branch in Spring 2019 making a total of at least 3 school visits in 3 regions of the state this year. Partners include: WV Katalyst, Olfert Lifestyle Research Lab, WVU School of Medicine, WV School of Osteopathic Medicine, WVU SOM Culinary Medicine Program, WVU SOM Nurse Practitioner Program, WVU MedChefs Program, WVU School of Dentistry.

Project Lead: Kathryn Baker,



STEAM Partnership -3D Printed Hydroponics:

This team involved 500+ third through fifth grade students, teachers, and parent/community volunteers. Partners helped create a teacher training featuring a hydroponics lesson that was used in science or math classes.  The team produced a Family Night focusing on Hydroponic Gardening for Nutter Fort Primary, involving exploration stations that included seed packets, root measuring, pH testing, and basket building using 3D printing.  Nutter Fort students used the SALS How-To Guide for the DIY Hydroponics System to build their system. NFI’s principal asked that all teachers incorporate 3D printing into at least one class project. The team identified WV curriculum Standards that could be met by participating in this project. Partners include: Nutter Fort Intermediate staff, students, and parents, PTSO Family Coordinator, Central WV Community Action Inc., Headstart, Southern Appalachian Leadership School (SALS).

Project Lead: Kara Freeland,


Weirton Community Made Serenade:

Area youth and adults teamed up to create a youth jazz band that incorporates healthy food and movement. Twelve practice sessions incorporated Yoga for Musicians exercises as well as fresh healthy snacks from the Grow Ohio Valley farm. The culminating event was a farm-to-table meal featuring fresh, locally grown produce. Participants offered four public performances that included a variety of musical styles. They created a How-To Guide for other communities and completed a pre/post-test survey to track the way their dietary and exercise habits were impacted by participation in the Community Made Serenade group activities. Partners include: Families Leading Change, Christ United Methodist Church, Dream Big Music Program, Grow Ohio Valley, WVU, and Bethany College.

Project Lead: Laurie Ruberg,

Welcome to the Meadow:

At the Meadow youth gathering site, this team repaired the access road and built a picnic seating area for at least 60 people and an enclosed tipi for immersive small group discussion.  The team hosted at least 350 volunteers and visitors to increase awareness of healthy eating and food justice issues. The team hosted an 8-week outdoor/agriculture education course, and completed student pre- and post-assessments. They planned field trips for 6th grade classes from all four Ohio County middle schools. They created a how-to guide for immersive agricultural-emotional-intelligence courses. Partners include: Grow Ohio Valley, WV Public Broadcasting, West Liberty University, Warwood School, Wheeling Jesuit University Appalachian Institute, House of Hagar Share.

Project Lead: Sam Amberg,



Wheeling Warriors:

This team conducted a bike rally for skills training and equipment checks. The team recruit youth bikers to begin training for NICA team first year. Volunteers attended NICA training to prepare for an event team competition, aiming for an event the second year. The team offered a workshop for students to learn bike maintenance and repair and created a bike exchange for students as they outgrow their bikes. Partners include: Pocahontas Board of Education.

Project Lead: Gayle Boyette,




GBL with a High Tunnel:

The Growing Gardeners program was created in 2008 aims to offer a Garden-Based Learning curriculum to elementary schools that teach students and teachers how to own produce in high tunnels with raised beds.  Conceived and supported by WVU Extension, this program aims to assist two more elementary schools with this grant.  The procedure and results will be shared with other interested parties via a Web site in development. The team will recruit participants via direct meetings,  other industry workshops and conferences. Partners include: WVU Extension, WV Department of Agriculture, WV Department of Education, Sustainable Integrated Systems Transforming Agriculture, Putnam County Master Gardeners.

Project Lead: Chuck Talbott,

Putnam Trails and Tails:

The team built on to a 2017 Try This minigrant awarded to the Putnam County Animal Shelter, constructing a roof over the exercise yards, so people can exercise dogs in inclement weather. The team recruited more than 50 volunteers to train and walk the dogs at the shelter while they themselves exercise for at least one hour a week. The team built awareness of the animal shelter by having a Dog Jog event. They created an agility course on the exercise yards for use by dogs and humans and started a walking and/or dog walking club. Partners include: Putnam County Animal Shelter, DHHR Youth Services, Putnam Youth Reporting Center, WVU Extension Office, KEYS4HealthyKids, Putnam County Schools, Putnam County Juvenile Drug Court, Boy Scout Troop 17, Poca Middle School Animal Rescue Club.

Project Lead: Judy Pauley,



Mix it Up Valley Head:

In this project local churches will donate health food to nearly 300 residences of Valley Head. The team will build three blessing boxes and placing them on the properties of our partners. They will provide safe constructive recreational opportunities for over 50 children in the Valley Head community by relocating the existing school playground to the community center. To foster community conversation about health and gain momentum for healthy initiatives the team will host a pick-up basketball game at the Valley Head school by the end of summer 2019. They will encourage youth entrepreneurship by working with 3 teen vendors to provide healthy concession during the pick-up basketball game.. They will promote health through encouraging physical activity in the community by supplying bike racks at the library/school and growing a walking group with community members. Partners include: WVU Extension Family Nutrition Program, WV Community Development HUB, Linwood Alive, Valley Head Public Library, Valley Head Community Center, Calvary Assembly of God, Valley Head School of Building Owners.

Project Lead: Tracey Valach,

Nature Mindfulness Program for Children:

Wonder & Grow will visit Beverly Elementary School and Stockert Youth and Community Center once a week for four weeks, providing a mindful nature experience to approximately 30 elementary aged children. Two team members  will receive Mindful Outdoor Leadership Training at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health which includes 75 hours of training. They will provide 100 nature journals to kids attending the mindful nature experience sessions, to be used for recording nature observations and for self-reflection. Wonder & Grow will develop handouts and offer DIY activities on how to integrate mindful nature experiences into classrooms, community centers, or at home that will be provided to parents, faculty, and community partners via the Wonder & Grow website by June 2019. Partners include: Wonder & Grow, Leadership WV, WVU Extension, Generation Randolph, Beverly Elementary School, Randolph County Schools, Riverside Nature School, City of Buckhannon, Mayor of Buckhannon, Mindful WV

Project Lead: Kate Reed,



PATCH Adventure Group:

The team will develop an adventure club with 5 youth executive members and 2 adults, and have 2 planning meetings. The team host physical activity events with informational booths each quarter that will reach over 50 students and 25 adults in the community. The quarterly activities will start October 2018. The team will attend a physical activity outside of Roane County annually with at least 15 students and 5 adults. The project team will develop and document a template for a “Startup/How-To” guide, that includes a sustainability aspect, for a youth adventure club. Partners include: PATCH, Bros and Bras, City of Spencer, Roane General Hospital, Family Health Care, Roane County Schools, Speciality Graphics, A&M Digital Technologies, Roane County Commission

Project Lead: David McCutcheon,




Sprouting Farms Community Outreach:

Sprouting Farms will hold educational potlucks that give the community an opportunity to see the farm and take a tour, followed by a lecture, and a potluck dinner. Potluck topics, like fermentation, canning, local herbs, and healthy beverages, will be held once a month. C Ruby Daniels, a farm crew member and herbalist, would like to teach classes about herbs, tonics, tinctures, and oils. The community has also asked for a class on bread making and cheese making. They plan to have community classes over the 2018/2019 period, on or off the farm. They will engage kids and adults at cooking classes and potlucks throughout the year and engage over 30 children through our Community Outreach Events. The team will record evaluations of our educational classes and aim for half of their participants to increase their knowledge about the topic. The team will create a how-to guide to help others adapt our model for the events. Partners include: Sprouting Farms, Alderson Community Food Hub, Alderson Elementary School, Alderson Community Market, Greenbrier Master Gardeners, Greenbrier Valley Grown, Sunset Berry Farm, Greenbrier County Health Alliance, Creasy Jane’s.

Project Lead: Beth Ryan,

Walk this Way Summers County:

Participants in the Walk This Way Summers County Club will have walked an additional 60 minutes per week over the 2017-2018 school year as evidenced by attendance rosters. By May 2019, behavior referrals of students faithfully participating in the Walk This Way Summers County Club will be lower than the behavior referrals from school year 2017-2018 as evidenced by WVEIS Discipline files. Walk This Way Summers County Club members will visit and walk trails in local state and national recreation areas once every 9 weeks grading period as evidence by pre and post surveys and attendance rosters. Members will have a more positive outlook on school attendance and fewer absences. At the end of the Project Year 1, a How-To Guide will be completed and be made available that others may use. Partners include: Summers County Public Schools, WVU Extension Office Summers/Monroe County, New River Gorge National River, Bluestone State Park.

Project Lead: Linda Knott,




AJES Owls Trail Activity Stations:

This team will build 1-2 new partnerships with rock climbing expertise. The team will obtain 1-2 volunteers skilled in wood working to provide in-kind laboron two new trail stations. The team will obtain 1-2 partners with expertise in art, art mediums, and in-kind expertise in setting up an art station. The project will create 3 activity stations on the AJES OwlsTrail,Station One will be focused on art including 3 washable art walls made of plexiglass framed in wood, Station Two will be focused on balance with 1 balance beam and suspended walking bridge, Station Three will be focused on strength building and problem solving it includes 1 four-sided wooden climbing structure, with each side presenting different levels of climbing difficulty and route patterns. The project will increase the physical activity levels of approximately 650 students, their families, and the community by 25%. Partners : AJES PTO, WVDHHR, PATCH Coalition of Taylor County, Taylor County Collaborative Family Resource Network, Taylor County Arts Council, Taylor County Starting Points, Anna Jarvis Elementary School, Grit Stone Climbing and Fitness LLC. WVU Climbing Club.

Project Lead: Alicia Lyons,



Happy STEMS:

This team will build a core group of students and teachers to participate in the Junior Master Gardener course from the local extension service.  The team will give a pre and post test will be given to show at least a 25% increase of knowledge. The team will expand the high tunnel capacity by adding a hydroponics system and purchasing the square foot gardening curriculum. During the 2018-2019 school year, the team will provide fresh produce for the TVEMS salad bar more than 3 times. During the 2018-2019 school year, students will take a course in healthy living strategies with a partner in the extension service; a pre and post test will be given to show at least a 25% increase of knowledge. Partners include: Mountaineer Garden Club, WVU Extension, Tucker County Schools, Tucker Valley Elementary Middle School.

Project Lead: Christine Ward,




Gardens Feed the World:

This team will build an ongoing, seamless community to support students, create a committed, diverse, bold, student-led team called Gardens Feed the World Committee that meets at least one and 1/2 hours monthly at the First Presbyterian Church. They will promote healthy eating, lifestyles, gardening, and acceptance while combating obesity. illnesses, food insecurity, and intolerance, facilitate a senior high-school-student designed and implemented Gardens Feed the World Fair at the end of the school year at Buckhannon-Upshur High School for 85% of Upshur County students in grades 3-5 which will showcase nutritional student-created sample dishes from all continents incorporating at least 70% of the vegetables grown in Union and Rock Cave Elementary school gardens.  The students will also do this 1 senior-high school-student led game or physical activity. They will promote learning, focus, engagement, climate, health and well-being, incorporate yoga, movement, or mindfulness daily in Senior English courses at Buckhannon-Upshur High School. To enable others to replicate the project, the school journalism students will create and publish a complete picture and video illustrated electronic how-to guide called Gardens Feed the World Recipe for Success chronicling our journey and inviting others to join us. Partners include: Buckhannon-Upshur High School, Upshur Indivisible, Upshur County Schools, Upshur Board of Education, Union Elementary School, Rock Cave Elementary School snd Garden Club.

Project Lead: Edwina Howard-Jack,


Union Elementary High Tunnel Garden:

This team will expand the current garden by building a 20′ by 40′ high tunnel by September 2018 to use for the 2018-2019 school year at Union Elementary. The project will increase student achievement through hands-on learning and introduce over 300 students to sustainable gardening and healthy living. Fresh vegetables will be supplied to the UES cafeteria and Buckhannon-Upshur High School Gardens Feed the World Fair from the high tunnels. The team will engage over 300 students in planning a garden and providing STEM activities that correlate with gardening. The project will increase student achievement through pre and post testing evaluation. Partners include: Union Elementary School, Create Buckhannon, Rock Cave Elementary School and Garden Club, Buckhannon-Upshur High School, Upshur Indivisible, Upshur County Schools, Highland Landscaping, Mike’s Lawn Care.

Project Lead: Deidra Casto,




Nourishing Networks Youth Pop-Up Markets:

The project will supply 750 vouchers valuing $4 each to youth participants to spend at 25 pop up markets during the period of September 2018 – September 2019. The team will add 3 additional collaborators in 2019 to allow for geographic expansion of the pop ups and sustainability of our Nourishing Network.  The project provides access to healthy food choices through nutrition education for 750 underrepresented and/or underserved youth in Wayne and Cabell Counties. Partners INCLUDE: CSL, WVUFNP, Food Justice Lab.

Project Lead: Sara Loftus,



Farm to Home Wirt County:

The team will construct two communication boards for the community garden by August 30th, 2018.  The will plan and execute a Farm to Table dinner held at the Wirt County Community Hope Garden by July 2019.  The event will market 10 farm fresh businesses to 50 community participants. Throughout 2018- 2019 there will be 10 local farm fresh small home businesses that will be advertising their products through the Farm Fresh Market board and Facebook group. The team will collect $1500 in revenue from the utilization of the Farm Fresh Market board and be generated for a total for 10 producers. Partners include: Wirt County Extension, Elizabeth City Council, Elizabeth Master Gardeners, What’s Next Wirt County, Community Services Inc., Child Care Food Program, FRN, Country Cabinets, Faith Link.

Project Lead: Maegan Gaver,



Fresh Healthy Food Access for Seniors:

The team will provide fresh healthy food access to Seniors through a monthly pop up produce market, along with the CSFP boxes, and installation of a healthy food choice pantry at one local senior community that houses 130 residents in 3 buildings. The pop-up markets will benefit 240 seniors at 2 different senior complexes, in addition to the foot traffic in downtown Parkersburg. Matching vouchers will be given to the seniors participating at the pop up markets to encourage the purchase of healthy foods. Funding for vouchers are being provided through the Food Justice Lab. The team will build partnerships with the Mountaineer Food Bank for the CSFP boxes and fresh produce, and Food Justice Lab for the producers and matching voucher funding, and 1st Lutheran church for additional produce. The pop-up markets will begin July 26 and go through November 28 and the pantry will be up and running by the end of the year. The team will host at least 1 workshop for other food banks. Partners include: Mountaineer Food Bank, Food Justice Lab, Unity Apts. Staff, Community Resources Inc., Comfort Keepers, Piggly Wiggly, FaithLink, local producers.

Lead Contact: Melissa Ogden,


Thrive – A Community Empowerment Center:

This team will lease a building to house a food pantry, baby pantry, household furnishings, hydroponics and various community events. Purchase 2 refrigerators, 2 freezers, 22 shelving units and engage in 10 volunteers to clean, build and prepare Thrive. The team will prepare overall guidelines for services, store operations, and tracking system for services provided to individuals and families and then train 20 Volunteers from local churches, other members of the community, and CRI case managers on the operations of Thrive. They will purchase  30,000 pounds of food over the year from Mountaineer Food Bank. In addition to this receive donations of 10,000 pounds of food from area community gardens and First Lutheran Church community garden. Radio ads get the word out thanks to the support from Huntington Bank and donations will be accepted from members of the community. The team will set up a Hydroponics station with 15 kits.   The team will grow fresh produce to put back into the pantry and to teach families about growing indoors. The team will provide recipes on how to prepare fresh produce meals with produce available at that time to ensure food is less likely to be wasted. Partners include: United Way Alliance, Child Care Food Program, Mindful WV, Mountaineer Food Bank, Warehouse Church, Recovery Point of Parkersburg, Huntington Bank, Families Leading Change, FaithLink, First Lutheran Community Garden.

Project Lead: Kayla Ersch,



Lift Me Up:

The project team will obtain a handicap accessible pool lift, and train lifeguards on its use. The team will create a swimming lesson course geared towards those with disabilities and handicaps so it is in place by the start of the 2019 swimming season. They will develop water aerobics classes and swim lessons to give people another way to stay active in a fun manner and present to at least 2 other cities about creating a Youth Councils. Partners include: Oceana youth Advisory Council, town of Oceana, Wyoming County SADD, Gilliland Park Pool, Friends of the Earth.

Lead Contact: Myleigh Stewart / / 304-682-5564

Marathon Recycling:

The team will clean 13.1 to 26.2 miles of waterways/roadsides of trash and sort recyclables by July 1, 2019. At least 30 community members will log more steps while cleaning up the outdoors than they would in a typical day. The team will recycle more than 4 tons of Type 1 and 2 plastics and aluminum by July 1, 2019. The project will engage 15 students in 250 volunteer after-school and in-school hours to increase recycling awareness, sort recyclables, and get more physical exercise than in their normal day-to-day routine.

Partners: Wyoming County Circuit Clerk’s Office, Wyoming County Solid Waste Authority, Wyoming County 4H, Cook Memorial Baptist Church, Town of Oceana Youth Advisory Council, Town of Oceana, Thompson Law Office, Tug River Catterson Health Center, Town of Pineville.

Project Lead: Brittany Bauer,


Mullens Youth Advisory Council:

The project team will engage a minimum of 8 area students in grades 5-12 to participate in leadership training and work alongside city commissioners. The team will work with the City of Mullens Foundation to promote playground improvements and install water fountains in the local playgrounds to provide water during physical activity. The team will determine projects to improve the downtown area and see 2 projects to completion. They will hold meetings monthly prior to the city council meeting to discuss their goals and desired projects and have a youth representative present to the Mullens City Council what projects they are working on. Partners include: City of Mullens, Mullens Middle School, Wyoming County SADD, Wyoming County Circuit Clerk Office, Wyoming County Prevention Coalition.

Project Lead: Virginia Lusk,

Pineville Middle Family Greenhouse Project:

This team will build a 20’ X 32’ high tunnel greenhouse to engage over 130 5th and 6th grade students in physical activity, while learning to grow fresh produce through STEAM curriculum that encourages healthy food choices and lifestyle. The team will engage at least 10 Wyoming County families a month in workshops that give them skills for gardening for both personal and commercial purposes, spurring an interest in economic development. They will also engage and train at least 5 local HSTA students. The teamw will video progress throughout the year and create a “how-to” video for other communities and conduct pre and post testing from a Master Gardener partnership with WVU Extension. Partners include: Pineville Middle School, Town of Pineville Foundation.

Project Lead: Amanda Mullins,

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