Health Education


Health Education

The Cleveland County Health Department Health Education Program provides education, promotion, and prevention services to the residents of Cleveland County.  Services include but are not limited to:

Coalition Building

The Cleveland County Health Education Unit is responsible for leading and maintaining various coalitions whose aim is to better the lives of the citizens of Cleveland County.  We are always looking for new members that have a passion for any of the topics below.  If you are interested in joining any of these committees please contact Anne Short at 980-484-5112.

  • Minority Health Council
  • Eat Smart Move More Cleveland County
  • Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition
  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition

Community Education

The health education unit is actively involved in educating the public on a variety of health topics. We speak to church groups, schools, community groups, etc.  These topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical activity and nutrition
  • Substance abuse prevention
  • Chronic disease prevention (cardiovascular disease, diabetes)
  • Reproductive Health and Safety
  • STD Awareness and Prevention
  • If you are interested in having a health educator speak to a group about a specific topic, please contact Anne Short at 980-484-5112.


CODAP stands for Community Organization for Drug Abuse Prevention and is the substance abuse prevention education unit of the health department.  The CODAP unit is involved primarily in the school system, educating students regarding substance abuse prevention.  This is accomplished in a variety of ways:

  • Too Good for Drugs is an evidence-based 10 day alcohol and other drug education class taught to all 8th grade students in Cleveland County.  Students are taught about dangers of alcohol and other drugs as well as refusal skills.
  • SOBIR:  SOBIR stands for Student Options Begin in Intervention and Recovery.  It is Cleveland County’s alternate to suspension program for violators of the school substance abuse policy.  It will be covered in more detail down the page.
  • Operation Medicine Drop:  Operation Medicine Drop is a program, in conjunction with the Cleveland County Sheriff’s office, Shelby Police Department and Kings Mountain Police Department and Overdose Prevention Taskforce.  In this Medicine Drop events, officers collect old and expired medication from citizens and incinerate them, keeping those pills off the street.  Averaging 5 events per year, Cleveland County has collected over 1.5 million dosage units within the last year.
  • Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition:  This community coalition works to create effective policy and environmental changes to help foster better choices so as to lower the prevalence of substance abuse in Cleveland County.
  • Various other one time classes are taught in the school and in community groups as needed and requested.

Health Promotion

The health promotion unit of the Cleveland County Health Department strives to help people make good decisions regarding physical activity and nutrition.  The main strategy to do this is by influencing policy and environmental change in the community.  A few examples of what health promotion is currently engaging in:

  • Foothills Farmer’s Market:  On Tuesday mornings in the summer the health department hosts the Foothills Farmer’s Market in their parking lot.  Encouraging citizens to buy local and to buy fresh fruits and vegetables helps the people that buy and also the local economy.
  • Eat Smart Move More Coalition:  This coalition works with local businesses and government to foster better behaviors regarding nutrition and physical activity through influencing policy and engaging in efforts to raise both awareness and opportunity for people to engage in physical activity and have more access to nutritious food.
  • Walking Routes:  Health Promotion has been instrumental in the creation of walking routes in Shelby, Kings Mountain and Fallston.
  • Step One Challenge and 5K:  The Step One Challenge is Cleveland County’s only 6 week community wide physical activity contest.  Using walking as the medium, the Step One Challenge encourages those that participate to reach 8-10,000 steps daily.  The Step One 5K is the health education sponsored 5K held annually in September.


The health education unit contracts with the Cleveland County School System to teach puberty education to all 5th grade students.  Boys and girls are separated and each group is taught a curriculum that is geared specifically to their needs.  Classroom teachers are also present to ensure the quality of the education given by health department staff.

This can be a sensitive topic for parents and students alike.  Below you’ll find a series of FAQ’s for puberty:

  • Does my child have to attend puberty classes?  No, you can opt out of puberty classes for your child.  Your school’s guidance counselor will be sending forms home, detailing the date of the program for your child.  Simply return that form indicating that you do not want your child to participate and they will be taken to a different room while the health educator is present.  Although puberty class is optional, please be aware that statistics show that many middle and high school students do not understand the basic functions of puberty and the reproductive system.  This class aims to give them accurate information.
  • Are you going to be teaching my child about any form of sex? Sexual intercourse is briefly mentioned but the process is not discussed, nor is there any visual depiction of sexual acts.   However, if a child asks a question about any form of sex, the health educator instructs the child to ask a parent, doctor or counselor.
  • Can I come see the video/curriculum you use beforehand? Of course, the health department is open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Please call Katie McDaniel, our reproductive health and safety educator at 980-484-5128 to set up an appointment to come view the material.
  • Can I take the material home with me and view it with my child?  We require our materials to stay in our possession, however, you are more than welcome to come to the health department, with or without your child, and view the materials here in a private room.
  • Will my child see a picture of male or female sexual body parts?  During the video sketches are shown of both the male and female reproductive organs.  These images are not highly detailed and are NOT pictures of actual sexual organs.

Reproductive Health and Safety

The Cleveland County School System, like all public education systems in North Carolina, are required to teach reproductive health and safety in the 7th, 8th and 9th grade.  The health department contracts with the school system to teach the tenth day in the 9th grade program.  During this tenth day the health educator discusses:

  • Sexually transmitted infections:  Signs and symptoms (along with visual depictions of infections) and rates of prevalence in Cleveland County
  • Methods of contraception: Contraception methods are discussed, including abstinence, detailing effectiveness and shortcomings of each method.

We also created the Private Matters Guide for teens.

Roots and Wings Parent/Youth Skills Development Program

Roots and Wings Parent/Youth Skills Development program is a prevention/intervention program providing opportunities to strengthen family relationships for teens between the ages of 12 and 17 and their parents/guardians.  Roots and Wings is provided by the Cleveland County Public Health Center and funded by the Cleveland County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council. Roots and Wings is available only to Cleveland County residents. There is no cost to participate in this program.

The Roots and Wings program is a 14 session commitment, with participants attending either Tuesday or Thursday nights, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  Session topics include communication, self-esteem building, goal setting/decision making, anger management, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs among others.  Classes are offered in 6 yearly cycles.  Please see the schedule below for upcoming classes.

Participants in the Roots and Wings program are referred by the Department of Juvenile Justice, the school system, the Department of Social Services, or other agencies, yet parents that are interested in participating in this class with their student can call Dana Hamrick at 980-484-5109 to discuss eligibility.

2017-2018 Roots and Wings Session Calendar:

  • Session 1:  (Thursday Nights) July 13, 2017 – October 12, 2017
  • Session 2:  (Tuesday Nights) August 8, 2017 – November 7, 2017
  • Session 3: (Thursday Nights) October 26, 2017 – February 15, 2018
  • Session 4: (Tuesday Nights) November 21, 2017 – February 27, 2018
  • Session 5: (Thursday Nights) March 1, 2018 – June 7, 2018
  • Session 6: (Tuesday Nights) March 13, 2018 – June 19, 2018

Agency referral form: To be used by DSS, DJJ, etc. to refer a student to the Roots and Wings Program



The SOBIR Program is an early intervention/education program targeted to students that violate the substance abuse policies of Cleveland County public schools.  Violation of this policy carries an automatic 10 day suspension.  However, if the student completes the 4 session SOBIR program, that suspension is cut in half to 5 days.  Referrals for the SOBIR program come from school principles, but parents that feel there is a need for some drug education for their student is welcome to call and discuss the possibility of enrollment in the program for their child.

The SOBIR program is 4 sessions, with each session lasting 1 hour to 1.5 hours, with all 4 sessions taking 4-5 weeks to complete.  The first and fourth session require both the parent(s) and the child and the second and third session require only the child be present.  The cost of the SOBIR program ranges from $55-$275, and is based on a sliding fee income scale.  Insurance is not accepted for the SOBIR program, the family will be responsible for paying the cost assessed to them.  Full payment is required by the final session in order for the reduction in suspension to occur.  To read more about the program please click here for our flyer.  If you would like to discuss the SOBIR program with a CODAP educator,  please call Holly Wall, Health Educator II 980-484-5433.

The Step One Challenge

The Step One Challenge is Cleveland County’s only county wide exercise initiative and it is a 6 week team based walking contest held in September and October annually.  Participants form teams of 3-6 people and record their steps with a pedometer and walking log (both provided at no cost) with winning teams receiving prizes.  We also have the Step One 5K, an annual 5K celebrating health in Cleveland County.

To find out more about the Step One Challenge or the Step One 5K please see our website here.

Strategic Planning and Marketing

The health education unit of the health department is responsible for marketing of health department programs and materials.  It is also responsible for strategic planning and fostering program direction and vision for the health department as a whole.

Health Education Staff

Anne Short – Unit Supervisor & Alliance for Health
Community Health Services Director
980-484-5112 (email)

Dana Hamrick – Roots & Wings
Public Health Education Supervisor
980-484-5109 (email)

Tania Dixon
Health Educator
980-484-5334 (email)

Katie McDaniel – Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition
Health Educator
980-484-5128 (email)

Tyler McDaniel
Health Educator
980-484-5143 (email)

Susan Willis – Eat Smart Move More Coalition
Health Educator
980-484-5205 (email)

Grant Wilson
Health Educator
980-484-5138 (email)


Adjunct Health Education Staff

Jamie Todd – Drug Free Communities Grant Coordinator
Health Educator
980-484-5335 (email)

Aja Pass – Strategic Prevention Frame Work Grant Coordinator
Health Educator
980-484-5139 (email)


Links of Interest

  • Parent Survival Guide 2017 – The Parent Survival Book is formatted to provide parents of rising middle school student’s information regarding important topics.
  • – A link for teens and parents to learn about the dangers of drugs and alcohol
  • My Drug Free World – A link for teens and parents to learn about the dangers of drugs
  • My Plate – A link full of games and resources to learn about what should be on your plate
  • NetSmartz – A great resource for helping kids learn how to navigate the dangers of the internet
  • Connect Safely – A resource for teaching kids about the internet and other electronic devices safely
  • OnGuard Online – Another online resource to help protect your children against online dangers

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