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WannaBee Healthy? Be Smart, Be Active, Be a Leader curriculum

Publication Number: P3995

Are you interested in the WannaBee Healthy? Be Smart, Be Active, Be a Leader curriculum and supporting materials? Let us know! (Find an overview of the curriculum below.)

We will take orders through August 1 of each year and ship materials to you. (Limit one copy per person.)

What you’ll receive:

  • WannaBee Healthy? Be Smart! Be Active! Be a Leader! Curriculum Activities, an 88-page book ready to be placed in a three-ring binder (P3995).
  • WannaBee Healthy? Be Smart! Be Active! Be a Leader! Story Book, a 12-page story book (P3995-A).
  • WannaBee Healthy? Be Smart! Be Active! Be a Leader! Curriculum Resource File, a 114-page book ready to be placed in a three-ring binder (P3995-B).
  • WannaBee Healthy? Be Smart! Be Active! Be a Leader! Family Activity Booklet, a 32-page activity book (P3995-C).

For more information, please contact Dr. Julie Parker at jcp162@msstate.edu.

About the WannaBee Healthy? Be Smart, Be Active, Be a Leader Curriculum

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2013) released statistics indicating 1 in 8 preschoolers in the U.S. is obese. Additionally, research indicates today’s young children are at risk of becoming obese adults and leading inactive lifestyles. A recent national study highlights the importance of starting obesity prevention efforts with very young children; of more than 7,000 kindergartners studied in the U.S., the study found that children who were overweight in kindergarten were four times as likely as normal-weight children to become obese by 8th grade (Cunningham, Kramer, & Narayan, 2014).

Better health education programs, such as those that include experiential (hands-on) learning, and healthier school environments can be key to changing the outcomes for children and families. Research indicates the early childhood years are a critical time when the foundation of lifelong healthy choices is established (VanLandeghem, Curgins, & Abrams, 2002). Further, young children learn best when they are allowed to be active participants in learning (Weikart, 1996) and when learning activities promote creative outlets. Thus, it is important for schools and early child care and education providers to have available and use resources that focus on improving nutrition, increasing physical activity, and decreasing computer and television time.

The WannaBee Healthy? Be Smart, Be Active, Be a Leader curriculum is designed to help young children develop healthy eating and activity habits. The curriculum and related resources provide opportunities for children to learn where food comes from, which foods and beverages are healthier for our bodies, how to choose a healthy plate, and why children need to be active. The curriculum is designed around three bee characters—Sunny Smart, Andy Active, and LaToya Leader—who teach children to Be Smart by making healthy food choices, to Be Active by moving around and making their hearts beat faster, and to Be a Leader by sharing how to be healthy with others.

The bee characters are engaging and fun and will encourage children to make healthy choices about nutrition and physical activity. As the children follow Sunny, Andy, and LaToya through the curriculum, they will participate in creative play activities that allow them to explore, express themselves, and think critically. The children will be solving problems and learning lifelong health habits that may reduce chronic illness and promote better health as they grow and develop.

Each learning activity is designed to provide young children with roles that are meaningful and relevant to their immediate needs. The curriculum activities are designed to be implemented over a 2-week period. Additional information is added to assist teachers with reinforcing the concepts introduced. The additional information can be found in “What’s the Buzz About?” sections. The curriculum activities align with the Mississippi Early Learning Standards (MSELS), Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for Kindergarten, and the CDC National Health Education Standards.

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