Greenville native shares health education with Butler and Lowndes County residents

Published 3:37 pm Thursday, February 23, 2023

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Alabama Extension Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) Agent Terronda Fields serves Butler and Lowndes counties, helping residents of all ages gain information and practical tips for living their healthiest lives.

Fields joined the Butler County Extension Office as an administrative assistant in 2019 and transitioned to SNAP-Ed agent in Nov. 2022.

She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business management at Faulkner University, graduating in 2013. The Greenville native, who loves working with kids, enjoys interacting with and teaching children to develop healthy lifestyles.

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“I always wanted to be a teacher, but I was kind of scared to go straight into teaching,” Fields said. “I wanted to take finance classes and teach, but I also liked kids. This is a good way for me to be around kids and also be able to teach them. Extension has taught me a lot — how to make changes in the community and help people get the information they need.”

Lowndes County Extension Coordinator Tana Shealey said Fields, as a SNAP-Ed educator, helps community members learn steps toward healthier lifestyles.

“Terronda goes into communities and talks with residents about the SNAP-Ed program and the best way to spend SNAP dollars to get nutritious food for their families on a budget,” Shealey said. “She also talks with [people] about the importance of drinking water and exercising.”

In addition to connecting through communities, Fields partners with schools to provide nutrition and exercise training.

“She goes into schools to talk with young people about the kinds of foods that they should eat and especially about consuming more water than soft drinks,” Shealey said. “They learn about exercise too. She teaches them all kinds of programs, like Body Quest, which helps them learn to appreciate how everyone is different but can strive to be the healthiest we can be by eating healthy food and exercising every day.”

At Greenville Elementary, Fields teaches third graders about making healthy choices through the Body Quest program. Fields said she enjoys helping kids learn to eat fruits and vegetables, try new foods, and drink more water. She also relishes the excitement children express for learning about health and nutrition.

“My favorite part so far is seeing the kids be excited,” Fields said. “When I walk in the door, you can just see they’re excited. They brighten my day when I go in. They are excited to ask questions and ready to learn. They tell me about new things and foods they’ve tried.”

Fields explained that teaching the children helps reach their families, making a more significant community impact towards healthier outcomes.

“I’ve noticed kids influence their parents,” Fields said. “They can say, ‘Mom, can I try this?’ At Greenville Elementary, the kids went home, talked to their parents, and asked to try new things. Some of them had their parents buy new foods or make recipes I’ve given them. This helps kids continue healthy habits when they get older.”

As the mother of four children — Cameron, Journi, Janyah, and Jordyn — Fields also connects with community children and coaches junior cheerleading with Greenville Parks and Recreation.

“I love seeing the girls progress and learning the cheers, just being happy to be out there cheering for the team,” Fields said. “When they see me at school, they come and hug me. They love to see me too.”

Fields is currently working to implement Extension’s Learning About Nutrition through Activities (LANA) in Lowndes County Schools Pre-K classrooms and to connect with Lowndes County churches to host evening health education classes.

For information on Extension programs, contact Fields at (334) 382-5111.