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Division of Kinesiology and Health

College of Health Sciences

Healthy Pokes Logo


Childhood obesity has reached epidemic status in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Currently, approximately 32% of children aged 2-19 years are classified as overweight or obese, while 18.4% of children aged 6-11 are obese.
The Healthy Pokes program is an integrated approach to addressing this issue and overall health of at-risk youth in Wyoming.  The program is led and delivered by a team of faculty members, graduate, and undergraduate students from the Division of Kinesiology and Health and the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at UW. 
Healthy Pokes has been operating in Laramie since 2014 and is launching an expansion site in Cheyenne beginning Fall 2015.  The Cheyenne site will be hosted at Laramie County Community College with the help of the Exercise Science Department and their students.
Healthy Pokes is funded by Wyoming Department of Health, Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, and Ivinson Memorial Hospital.  Local partners in Laramie include: Albany County School District 1, Laramie Physicians for Women and Children, and Wal-Mart.  Partners in Cheyenne include: LCCC, Laramie County School District 1, and Cheyenne Children’s Clinic.

Read more about the Healthy Pokes program in the December 2015 UW News, click here.

Kids Running

Focus of the Healthy Pokes Program

The program focuses on Children ages 6 to 14 years olds (1st to 8th grade), through a multidisciplinary and longitudinal intervention to address child health. The program runs for 10 weeks during each academic semester, with the students participating in one 2-hour session per week. During these sessions, children receive education and participate in activities focusing on the following components:

Physical activity sessions for children focusing on enhancing physical activity, reducing screen time, and enhancing knowledge about fitness principles.

Nutrition lessons and activities addressing healthy eating and nutritional choices.

Behavioral health lessons and activities addressing goal setting, confidence, healthy choices, bullying and emotional health.

One-on-one mentoring for children provided through a buddy system with UW students affiliated with the program. Undergraduate students are trained in the best practices associated with mentoring at-risk youth and relationship building. In addition, mentoring supports education regarding nutrition, physical activity, and emotional health.

boy running

Community Benefits

Increasing physical activity behaviors of children in grades 3-8.

Enhancing knowledge of nutrition and healthy dietary habits of children and families.

Promoting mental and emotional wellness of children through mentoring and behavioral health education.

Strengthening leadership skills in college aged students through mentoring education and club leadership.

Develop pedagogical skills of pre-service teachers.

Enhancing community-university partnerships through collaborative support of multiple stakeholders.

Basketball Team




ACSD 1    

Laramie County School District 1

  Ivinson Memorial Hospital

Donate to Healthy Pokes!

Co-Investigator: Dr. Tucker Readdy, Division of Kinesiology and Health
Co-Investigator: Dr. Enette Larson-Meyer, Department of Family and Consumer Science
Co-Investigator: Dr. Christine Wade, Department of Family and Consumer Science
Co-Investigator: Dr. Evan Johnson, Division of Kinesiology and Health

Healthy Pokes Photos

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