Our mission to getting kids healthy!
KoKo, the owl, is the Knox Community Hospital-sponsored Koko's Kids Club's official mascot. Koko's mission is to improve the health and well-being of children in the community by promoting healthy eating habits and physical activity. Started in 2019, Koko’s Kids Club was born from the knowledge that 73% of Knox County people are overweight, and 37% are obese.
“We decided to focus on the kids in this community and start teaching them about developing healthy habits early in life,” said Ann Guinsler, Community Outreach Coordinator for KCH. “We utilize the MyPlate.gov model for educating children and their parents on how to make healthy food choices. While nutrition is a big part of the program, we also focus on keeping kids active through age-appropriate activities that help them develop skills like language, knowledge, coordination, and self-esteem.”
Guinsler said the hospital partners with the local YMCA, Knox County Recycling and Litter Prevention, Knox County Parks, as well as other businesses and community organizations. Koko’s Kids Club meets twice a month at the YMCA. Classes kick off with a 45-second breathing exercise.
“Each class has a theme, and lesson plans are developed around that theme,” said Guinsler. “Two raised bed gardens on the premises of the YMCA help the kids learn about plants and the nutrients like sun, food, and water that plants, and humans, need to grow and thrive.”
The Knox Community Hospital pediatricians are also in on the fun. Drs. Lana, Somple, and Talukder’s offices hand out coloring and tip sheets with activities and monthly newsletters to parents at office visits.
“Our pediatricians are our source experts for the newsletter and help us develop our monthly content,” said Guinsler. “Some of the tips are as simple as how to increase your child’s water intake by making it more flavorful by infusing it with seasonal fruit like strawberries.”
Contact Koko's Kids Club
1330 Coshocton Ave Mount Vernon Ohio 43050