During March 2018 which coincides with the National Nutrition Month, Senator Richard Roth (Riverside) visited Wells Middle School to hear about the school's achievement in student wellness. Wells Middle School recently received Gold Award from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's National Healthy Schools Program. UC CalFresh is proud to be a partner in this success. UC CalFresh Educator, Claudia Carlos, has been working with the P.E. teachers at Wells Middle School for a number of years to provide nutrition education and help students learn to live healthier lifestyles. More recently, she provided the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement training to the cafeteria staff and assisted with the implementation of lunchroom changes to nudge students to choose healthier options. UC CalFresh supervisor, Emma Sandoval, assisted with the rejuvenation and maintenance of the school garden, and worked with other teachers and staff to teach students how to grow fruits and vegetables. Emma also invited a Master Gardener, Larry Dodson, to share his tree planting & pruning expertise with the students.
During Senator Roth's visit, two of UC CalFresh staff, Claudia Carlos and Yazmin Nieto, were invited to conduct a parent education class so he could see our program in action. About 30 parents came to the Rethink Your Drink class to learn about sugar sweetened beverages and how they can help their families choose healthier options. To give families ideas to make healthy drinks at home, the staff provided participants with a smoothie tasting from the Eating Smart and Being Active cookbook. The parents enjoyed the class and one shared that it was a “very good class regarding sweetened beverages and reading nutrition facts labels. I will try to buy less sweetened beverages. I will make fruit infused water drinks at home”. Another parent said the class “will help me to be more conscious of what I drink and what I purchase.”
The staff and administration at Wells work hard year round to create a healthy environment for students. There's no wonder why they have achieved a gold award and be recognized as one of the healthiest schools in the nation. Congratulations Wells Middle School!