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CDC Gives Glowing Remarks in Winnsboro

BY LUCAS VANCE
HERALD INDEPENDENT

The Center for Disease Control recently visited Winnsboro to highlight the success of Fairfield County’s implementation of the Healthy South Carolina Initiatives including Faith Based Tobacco Education Prevention, Healthy Eating and Youth Empowerment.

It was a community event at Blackjack Baptist Church that saw many organizations along with Fairfield Behavioral and Health come together to present the CDC with their successes.

After recognition of all the Fairfield Community Health Partners, the Youth Empowerment organization gave a presentation on how it got Fairfield County Council to fund a walking trail in Drawdy Park. HYPE member Vernon Kennedy Jr. told the assembly they used fliers and posters to spread the word and had over 700 surveys filled out.

Fairfield Behavioral and Health director Vernon Kennedy said the youth have been involved throughout the process.

“I am very proud of them,” he stated. “They have met twice a week and have even gotten their friends to become involved as well.”

After receiving a $114,000 grant in May 2012, Cheryl Goodwin became the director and coordinator of the Faith Based Tobacco Education Prevention program.

Her program requires those who are committed to not smoke and to place yard signs that say “no smoking on these grounds” on either their home property or on the church’s property.

Over 214 families and 49 faith based organizations have signed the policies and have implemented tobacco prevention training.

“We are very proud of our efforts,” Goodwin said.

Prevention training is not always easy, she said.

“We have to walk the talk for these people,” Goodwin noted. “Smoking is a habit for some and they just can’t stop. We have to understand that and work with them.”

Kennedy Sr. knew once the grant was awarded that Goodwin was the perfect candidate to spearhead the Faith Based Tobacco Education Prevention program.

“She is very passionate,” he noted. “There wasn’t any doubt in my mind that she could lead this program.”

As a part of the Eat Smart Move More in Fairfield County, Mac Russell led the Healthy School Environment presentation.

The implementation began in 2006, with the creation of C.A.T.C.H., the Coordinated Approach To Childhood Health. The program started gardens at the elementary schools and promoted healthy eating of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Russell said the next step was to work with the wellness initiatives at the high school and middle school for gardens as well.

Read more: Herald Independent – CDC gives glowing remarks in Winnsboro