Health Team

At 25 years old, Poe Center looks toward next quarter century of health education

Posted September 23, 2016 11:51 a.m. EDT
Updated September 23, 2016 6:21 p.m. EDT

— An effective health education helps children grow up to lead happier and more successful lives, which is why the Poe Center for Health Education in Raleigh was built 25 years ago.

Today, the organization continues to reach more children across the state.

Children from Grace Christian School in Raleigh learned recently how big a serving size of their favorite foods should be: A single serving of pasta is the size of half a tennis ball.

"We got to learn about, like, all the different food groups and what was healthy and what wasn't healthy," said Cooper Bachman, a Grace Christian School third grader.

The Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education specializes in teaching students about healthy bodies and healthy minds. Kids even get to climb inside a giant brain.

A team of educators uses visual and hands-on displays to capture students' imaginations. The programs there don't replace classroom teaching, according to teacher Amber Hickman, but it gives kids a chance to learn in a different way.

"The experience has been so great for them, I think just because it goes so well with our curriculum," Hickman said.

Ann Rollins, executive director of the Poe Center, said the organization focuses on health sciences.

"Universal health education is essential, and we have not reached every family in North Carolina yet, so that is our goal," Rollins said.

Rollins says they've served 1 million participants in Raleigh and in 91 of the state's 100 counties.

A mural by artist Nicholas Bragg was commissioned by the Poe Center to celebrate its 25 years in the same location.

Rollins said Bragg incorporated more than 65 images that put Poe in context over that time. Now, the center is focused on the next quarter century and the next million students they hope to reach.

The Poe Center is a private, nonprofit organization supported by admission fees, grants and individual and corporate donations.

Their year-long 25th anniversary celebration comes to an end tomorrow at the center with a special gala.