Poe’s 30 “Pearls of Wisdom”

Emily Hoover, Intern

30 Visionary Years: Digital Collage representing Poe's program areas and unique features

The Poe Center is celebrating 30 visionary years of health education. Since opening the doors to our one-of-a-kind field trip destination in 1991, Poe has grown into a precious pearl for North Carolina. Pearls grow by creating new and stronger layers year after year. Just like a pearl, Poe has created a stronger healthier North Carolina educating each new generation year after year reaching more than 1.3 million children during the last 30 years. 

To celebrate this special milestone, here are 30 “Pearls of Wisdom” Poe teaches in our programs to build a healthy North Carolina

1. Drink More Water.

Did you know over 60% of your body is made of water? Check out our Drink More Water campaign and facts.

2. Rethink Your Drink. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSB) are the leading sources of added sugar in the American diet.” See more about drinks and how they relate to your health

3. No bees. No food. 

Did you know 70 of the world’s top 100 crops, including almonds, blueberries, and peaches, are pollinated by bees? The Poe Center has three bee hives and an outdoor “pollinator” classroom, made possible with our partnership with Bee Downtown.

4. Stay Active.

Kids need 60 minutes of physical activity every day, and adults need at least 30. Follow #PoeFit on Twitter for tips on keeping you and your family active.

5. Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Here are 10 tips on how to eat healthier. Then, check out #PoeFitNutrition on Twitter for regular advice on maintaining a healthy diet.

6. Vaping is not worth the risk.

Studies show that vaping damages the lungs; and its substances, such as nicotine, negatively affect growing brains. The Poe Center offers a Vaping 101 series for 6th-12th graders.

7. Social media and the brain. Know the facts! 

The current generation of adolescents is growing up in a media-saturated world. Research shows social media affects the developing brain. Learn about current research on adolescent brain development and teen risk perception with Poe’s #YouthCulture program: Adolescent Brain Development and the Role of Social Media.

8. Recognize the warning signs of unhealthy relationships 

It is reported that one in three teens will experience dating violence. Find information on the importance of healthy relationships and the dangers of unhealthy ones with Poe programs such as Healthy Relationships 101.

9. Understand the risk of opioids. 

Prescription opioids can be addictive and dangerous. Learn about the scope of the opiate problem and the growing concern of opioid use with Poe’s #YouthCulture series program Opioids 101

10. When it comes to bullying, don’t be a bystander.

Adults, parents, school staff, and kids can work together to prevent bullying. See Poe’s Bullying Prevention programs and resources.

11. Brush your teeth two times a day.

Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. Check out Poe’s Dental Health programs and resources.

12. Foster healthy friendships. 

At any stage in life, friendship is something to cherish. The Poe Center works to help children recognize healthy friendships through the program Friend Power.

13. Lock your meds.

Prescription drugs and household chemicals can be dangerous for members of your home. Ensure safety in your home by checking out Poe’s online Medicine Safety exhibit.

14. Connect with your cranium.

Did you know your brain weighs about three pounds and controls just about everything you do, even when sleeping? Learn about the different parts of the brain and what they do with our Cranium Connection exhibit and resources. 

15. Cook with your family.

Cooking and kitchen skills can help develop better food choices, preferences, attitudes, and behaviors, positively affecting children’s health and long-term health outcomes as they grow. Check out our virtual CookWELL kitchen, programs, and resources.

16. Compost, compost, compost.

Don’t waste your food scraps! Learn to use food waste to enrich your garden. See the composting section in Poe’s kitchen and cooking resources.

17. Grow your own food.

Gardening can be a valuable activity that promotes positive lifelong health outcomes. Check out Poe’s GrowWELL garden programs.

18. Recycle!

Properly recycling milk jugs, water bottles, egg cartons, and other common household items is an easy way to positively impact the planet. Learn more with these recycling resources.

19. Reduce your risk of foodborne illness.

Maintaining home refrigerators at 40°F or below is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Store fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, and dairy products properly so they stay fresh and no one gets sick. 

Check out these refrigeration and food safety tips.

20. Wash your hands.

Handwashing is more important than ever. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water to properly get rid of germs. If you have kids, make handwashing a fun part of their daily routine by singing the birthday song each time you wash. 

Watch the Poe Center’s video on proper hand washing, and visit our website for information on Poe’s GermBusters program for 2nd and 3rd graders.

21. Learn to make a few simple nutritious meals and snacks. 

Having a few go-to nutritious recipes makes it easier to plan and cook healthy meals. Download some of Poe’s favorite recipes.

22. Talk to your kids about puberty.

Poe’s popular Girl Talk/Guy Talk parent-child workshops are designed to help facilitate positive open communication about adolescent development and the changes boys and girls experience during puberty. Visit our calendar to see our upcoming events.

23. Go outside and play.

North Carolina is filled with wonderful parks and play spaces for you to go. Take your family, go by yourself, and get some fresh air. 

WakeMED and the Poe Center worked together to create a one-of-a-kind health education play space located at Poe’s facility. Check out WakeMED’s PlayWELL Park.

24. Tap into the power of positivity. 

Choosing a positive approach to life is proven to have long-term health benefits and outcomes. Read these 10 tips for increasing positivity and reducing stress.

25. Develop a stress management plan.

Stress is a natural part of life. Developing healthy ways to cope with stress helps you and creates a good example for the teens and youth in your life. The Center for Parent and Teen Communication has a great resource to help your teen build a stress management plan.

26. Be resilient and cope with stress.

Every day presents new challenges, especially during a global pandemic. Stress can be hard to cope with. Learn more about coping with stress during COVID-19.

27. Reduce the risk of addiction.  

Alcoholics Anonymous of NC reports that more than 450,000 individuals suffer from alcohol addiction or abuse in North Carolina every year. Almost 40,000 of these people are teenagers. 

Check out Poe’s Substance Use Prevention programs.

28. Prepare your daughter for college. 

College freshman year is full of new situations that put young women at risk for adverse health outcomes. Gain helpful insights and resources with Girl Talk 3, a workshop for moms and daughters preparing for college. Learn about campus safety, binge drinking, peer pressure, and more with this program coming to the Poe Center soon!  

29. Parents you matter! 

Parents are the biggest influence on their children’s education and health choices. Poe has programs geared towards adults and parents. Click on the “adults” option for a list of programs specifically for you.

30. Celebrate the Poe Center’s legacy!

North Carolina artist Nicholas Bragg created a one-of-a-kind commemorative mural which captures Poe’s past, present, and future within the context of world history. Located just inside the front doors of the Poe Center, the mural, entitled “A Celebration of the Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education,” welcomes all visitors. You can also visit an interactive online version of the mural.


Learn more about how the Poe Center is celebrating its 30th Anniversary.