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SmartStart boys class from Douglas
Douglas fifth graders learned about the benefits of exercise at their SmartStart class.

Fri, Mar 30, 2018 at 09:25 PM

Fifth graders enjoy a fun lesson in growing up at SmartStart program

Boys and girls learn about the changes they are going through.

Preteens are often confused by the changes they experience as they enter adolescence. To help clear things up, doctors and nurses from Marshall Medical present the SmartStart program for fifth-grade students.

 Recent classes were held for Douglas student, with boys and girls having separate groups. To make the message go down a little easier, it’s mixed with snacks, laughter and some exercise. 

Dr. Steve Shassberger, of Medical Centers OB/GYN South, talked to dozens of boys about why their bodies change from age 12 to 16. Pimples and hair growing in new places are blamed on hormones. Voices change because of growth spurts, with some high-pitched squeaks along the way to a deeper sound. 

“Your body is testing things out,” Dr. Shassberger said. 

Labor and delivery Nurse Julie Waldrep met with about 60 girls, teaching them about reproductive health, positive self-image, good hygiene, moderate exercise and eating well. 

“You can have a piece of cake,” she said. “Don’t put yourself on a diet at this age. Balance sweets with fruit and vegetables. Watch your serving size. Change your habits instead of dieting.”

The SmartStart program is available free to any elementary school in Marshall County. Contact the Marshall Medical marketing department at 256-571-8925 for more information.