We are so excited to announce our partnership with the Kiwanis Early Riser Club of Yuba City. This partnership will allow us to provide six special education classroom teachers with mobile kitchens to help with integrating important life skills into their daily curriculum. Some of these skills include; making a shopping list, budgeting, shopping for food, and cooking, which are all important skills for independent living. This project is timely as there are over 2,500 special education students currently enrolled in school districts in Sutter County school and data show that obesity rates for children with disabilities are 38% higher than those of their non-disabled peers (CDC, 2018).
Prior to the receiving a mobile kitchen, teachers will be trained on the newly developed Learn it, Grow it, Taste it! curriculum to ensure confidence in lesson delivery. This curriculum was designed to be implemented in special education classrooms, special day classrooms, and community sites serving individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities. The most important goal of this curriculum is to help learners become enthusiastic about nutrition, cooking, gardening and physical activity, and to make sure that all individuals, including those with a disability, have equal opportunities to lead a healthy lifestyle. There are 11 lessons in the curriculum and each lesson has a cooking demonstration and/or an interactive classroom activity. Activities in this curriculum aim to educate and actively engage learners in food preparation, food safety, nutrition, gardening, mental wellness, money management, and physical activity and much more which will contribute to their lifelong health and wellness.
During the 2019-2020 school year, teachers will implement the Learn it, Grow it, Taste it! curriculum in their classroom with the support of the CalFresh Healthy Living, UC program. Data will be collected prior to the intervention and after the intervention to determine overall effectiveness and feasibility of program implementation. The intended change outcomes for this project include; increased transfer of knowledge and information, increased physical activity, increased ability to identify vegetables, positive youth development, increased cooking knowledge and skills, improved dietary behaviors, decreased obesity and/or improvements in overweight to normal weight, and increased food and healthy literacy.
Special thank you to the Kiwanis Early Riser Club of Yuba City for their GOLD LEVEL Sponsorship!!
Children and adolescents with physical and intellectual disabilities tend to have a higher prevalence of obesity (BMI of 30.0 or higher) compared to their non-disabled peers. According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity rates for children (ages 2-17) with disabilities are 38% higher than for children without disabilities. This was determined from the results of the 2003-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Obesity and disability are health conditions that have been increasing globally and growing evidence suggests that there is a strong link between the two. Thus, emphasizing the need for effective interventions to assist individuals with disabilities in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
In the fall of 2017, a curriculum development committee was established to develop a curriculum for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities. The most important goal of the Learn it, Grow it, Taste it! (LIGITI) curriculum is to help learners become enthusiastic about nutrition, cooking, gardening and physical activity, and to make sure that all individuals, including those with a disability, have equal opportunities to lead a healthy lifestyle. There are 12 lessons in the curriculum and each lesson has a cooking demonstration and/or an interactive classroom activity. Activities in the curriculum aim to educate and engage learners in food preparation, food safety, nutrition, gardening, mental wellness, money management, and physical activity concepts that will contribute to their lifelong health and wellness. Cooking demonstrations were designed using an active engagement model to introduce learners to new textures, smells, and tastes, and to decrease selective eating in individuals with sensory processing abnormalities. During the 2018-19 academic year, the curriculum committee partnered with the University of California CalFresh Healthy Living Program (UC CalFresh) to pilot the curriculum in two California counties.
The Payoff: Active engagement increases willingness to try new foods for individuals with disabilities
The LIGITI curriculum was piloted in 10 classes (8 intervention, 2 control), with over 150 participants ranging from ages 6 to 65. The same curriculum was used for all ages, however, activities within the curriculum are labeled [MM] for individuals with mild to moderate disabilities, and [MS] for learners with moderate to severe disabilities. The first lesson in the curriculum engages learners in a multisensory cooking demonstration and food tasting activity which aims to help participants develop a life skill and encourages individuals with sensory processing abnormalities to try new foods. The food tasting activity in this lesson sets the precedent for all food tastings in the curriculum. Throughout the curriculum, the active engagement process is used to provide participants with opportunities to obtain and enhance their cooking skills. This is done by allowing participants the opportunity to actively participate in food preparation activities using adaptive cooking tools in a low-risk environment.
Recipes in the first few lessons are simple 2-3 ingredient recipes such as, Caramelized Broccoli, Tofu Banana Pudding, and Pineapple Frozen Yogurt. These simple recipes build up to the final recipe in lesson 12, which encourages participants to put their knowledge to the test by using adaptive cooking tools and following step-by-step instructions to prepare a Colorful Stir-Fry recipe. Throughout the curriculum, a Taste Test Tool (TTT) was used to measure behaviors such as, willingness to try new food items and willingness to eat the food again. To date, nutrition educators have administered the TTT 28 times, reaching 333 participants. Foods that had not been tasted previously included; beets, pistachios, radishes, tofu, and brussel sprouts. Of the foods that were introduced, 32% of participants reported that they had not previously tried the food, 89% of participants tried the food item on the day it was offered, 58% of participants reported that they were willing to try the food again, and 46% of the participants reported that they would ask for the food again. In addition to increased willingness to try new foods, preliminary study results from the pilot demonstrated that participants in the intervention group experienced significant increases in knowledge, improvements in weight status, and an increased ability to identify healthy food items. Furthermore, 100% of the teachers (n=8) that participated in the pilot reported that their students are more willing to try new foods and can now identify healthy food choices.
“The UC CalFresh LIGITI Nutrition class was an awesome experience. I loved watching my son and others learn so much about nutrition. He tried many new foods, even learned how to cook them. He learned all about healthy food choices, the MyPlate and used a knife for his first time.” -Adriene Maloney (Mother of a 6-year-old participant with Autism Spectrum Disorder)
Materials for the implementation of LIGITI were acquired through the UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program, a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-Ed) funded agency, and the I Can Do It program. I Can Do It (ICDI) is a customizable and inclusive health promotion model aimed at transforming the lives of individuals with a disability. ICDI is centered on Mentor-Mentee relationships and weekly health-related goals. In ICDI programs around the country, ICDI Mentors (aged 16+) and ICDI Mentees (participants with a disability aged five+) meet weekly to engage in physical activity, learn and practice healthy eating behaviors, and set health-related goals. Gardening materials included a large Vegepod with a trolley stand, soil, seeds and seedlings. During the initial pilot of the curriculum, the piloting agency was looking for ways to ensure accessible gardening for individuals with disabilities and the Vegepod was discovered at a local Co-op. Vegepods can be purchased with trolley stands, which allows gardeners to easily move the raised garden bed for reasons such as, increasing sunlight or increasing accessibility for individuals with limited mobility. Not only are Vegepods easy to manage, they are also accessible, which helps create an inclusive gardening experience for all individuals, including those with wheelchairs.
Data from 2015-16 show that nearly 1 in 5 children (ages 6 to 19) in the United States are obese. When you ask a young child where food comes from, they usually answer, “the store”, and that is a problem. Now, more than ever, we need to educate children where food comes from and gardening may be just the way to do that. Gardening provides high to moderate physical activity for children and research shows that when children experience growing food in the outdoors, they are much more likely to taste it and enjoy it. Growing food also teaches children where their food comes from and helps bridge the gap between farm to table. Having this connection allows children to develop a healthy relationship with food and to appreciate and respect that food is not indispensable.
What Has ANR Done
In 2018, the Butte County UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program partnered with Butte County's UC Master Gardener Program to extend garden enhanced nutrition education and technical assistance to 17 Butte County classrooms, reaching over 400 students, their families, and school staff. In 2019, this partnership was replicated in Sutter County through the implementation of a UC Garden Curriculum Training for community volunteers, followed by the implementation of two series-based, garden enhanced nutrition education lesson series that were implemented at the Artisan Community Garden in Yuba City, CA. Lessons topics were adapted from the Teams With Inter-Generational (TWIGS) curriculum. TWIGS lesson topics focus on gardening and how the foods we grow are used in our bodies as building blocks and energy providers.
The Payoff: Garden enhanced nutrition education increases youth's confidence and interest in gardening!
After participating in four series-based, garden enhanced nutrition education lessons at the Artisan Community Garden, parents of youth participants were invited to take a survey. There were a total of 28 families with 45 youth (ages 5-13) who participated in the lessons. Of the parents that responded (n=15), 100% reported that their child's interest in gardening had increased, 90% reported that their child's confidence to garden had increased, and 70%% of those that had reported not having a garden at home prior to attending the lessons reported that their child is now interested in starting a garden at home. Additionally, 100% of respondents said they would recommend participating in these lessons. Youth shared some of their favorite things about participating in the lesson series which included, learning about aphids, learning about plants and soil, making dirt, and trying all the different types of fresh vegetables. Gardening with children not only increases interest, but also increases participation in physical activity and willingness to try new foods, which may ultimately contribute to a reduction in childhood obesity.
Chelsey L. Slattery, Nutrition, Family & Consumer Sciences Advisor serving Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Sutter, & Yuba Counties, email@example.com
In April 2018, EFNEP and UC CalFresh in the Butte Cluster began their partnership with the Sutter County Superintendent of Schools to offer nutrition education and food resource management courses to individuals who are working towards earning their GED in Sutter County's English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Sutter County's ESL program is for non-native speakers of English who are 18 or older and want to improve their language skills. ESL classes are designed for adults who want to learn or improve English reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Classes are designed to help students obtain a job, become more involved in children's education, learn to communicate family health needs, and become involved in community activities.
Dora Maldonado is the Head English as a Second Language Teacher with the Sutter County Superintendent of Schools ESL program. Dora had previously worked at the Farmworker Institute of Education & Leadership Development (FIELD) in Butte County where she played an integral role in the integration of EFNEP's Eating Smart Being Active and UC CalFresh's Making Every Dollar Count lesson series into FIELD's textbook curriculum. Because of her previous knowledge and positive experience with the Butte Cluster's nutrition programs, Dora served as an advocate for our program and was instrumental in opening the door for UC CalFresh and EFNEP at the Sutter County's Superintendent of Schools. In April 2018, Dora made a recommendation for the Sutter County Superintendent of Schools ESL program to incorporate EFNEP's Eating Smart, Being Active (ESBA) and UC CalFresh's Making Every Dollar Count (MEDC) lesson series into the ESL curriculum, which would allow participants to receive academic credit for their participation. This recommendation was well received, and the integration was successful. The ESBA and MEDC curricula now help the ESL program meet the COAAP (Civic Objective Additional Assessment Plan) 46.7 Nutrition Component of their ESL objectives. This is an objective that was picked according to the needs of the students.
Dora contributes a great deal o energy into promoting our classes and assisting our educators with their recruitment efforts, which has contributed to our phenomenal retention strategies and EFNEP graduate rates in Sutter County. She has also helped us secure a classroom site with all the amenities for our educators to provide lessons to a large, diverse group of low-income families in Sutter County. Dora's collaboration with our program is endless and we are extremely thankful for that.
Dora shared that her passion for our nutrition program is that it gets her students to move and think about how to eat a more nutritious meal. She says that her collaboration with EFNEP has helped her fulfill her passion for helping others and that her students really enjoy the one mile walk and the delicious healthy food that anyone can prepare.
Since partnering with the Sutter County Superintendent of School to offer academic credit to participants, EFNEP has offered series-based lessons to 6 ESL group, graduating approximately 180 participants.
Educator Testimonial: “Every class we have is at full capacity as she opened the door to the community not just the registered students. This addition influenced many EFNEP participants to register as High School Students and attain their High School Diplomas and job development for Families of Farmworkers dependents. EFNEP has played a big part in collaborating with FIELD form making sure the hours are completed to High School graduation day” – Sonia Rodriguez, EFNEP Educator in the Butte Cluster
Partner Testimonial: “One reason that motivated me to incorporate the nutrition program into my curriculum is because we have Civic Objective and Additional Assessment Plans (COAAP) for our ESL adult education students. One of our learning objectives for the students is health and nutrition. This program is a perfect fit for our ESL Adult Education program. It is a great motivational program and it is hands on which is perfect when learning the English language. I only wish every adult school could incorporate your nutrition program into their curriculum. Furthermore, the students receive a certificate of completion and credit which is inspiring to the student. It is a sense of accomplishment that they can share with their family.” - Dora L. Maldonado, Head English as a Second Language Teacher with the Sutter County Superintendent of Schools Adult Education Program
The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) was chosen to receive CHIP's 2018 Outstanding Partner Award which was presented to the team on Thursday, February 7, 2019 at CHIP's 45th Anniversary celebration in Chico, CA. CHIP's Resident Services Coordinator, Washington Quezeda, presented this award to the following individuals from UCCE Butte County; Jona Pressman, UC CalFresh and Expanded Food and Nutrition Program Manager, Sonia Rodriguez, EFNEP Community Education Specialist, Suzie Lawry-Hall, UC CalFresh Program Supervisor, and Rita Palmer, UC CalFresh Community Education Specialist.
From left to right: Suzie Lawry Hall, Jona Pressman, Washington Quezeda, Sonia Rodriguez, Rita Palmer
From left to right: Rita Palmer, Sonia Rodriguez, Jona Pressman
The Partnership: CHIP Youth Summer School Program
In 2018, UC CalFresh partnered with CHIP to design and implement a comprehensive youth educational summer camp in the counties of Butte, Sutter, Yuba and Glenn. The program was made up of 85 participants (72 youth campers and 13 adult resident camp counselors) at 8 public housing sites which participated in an 8-week Youth Summer Camp School Program.
For two decades CHIP has partnered with UC CalFresh and EFNEP to meet the educational and enrichment needs of youth, adults, and families residing in various CHIP Public Housing sites. CHIP assists low-income and rural disadvantaged residents, seniors and others who may lack the financial resources and/or knowledge to provide adequately for their household. This year, CHIP partnered with UC CalFresh to coordinate and implement CHIP's first comprehensive Youth Summer School Program. CHIP was awarded with a grant to host a youth summer intervention to provide youth the opportunity to maintain their academics and activity levels during summer break. The CHIP Youth Summer School Program (CHIP-YSSP) used a combination of Healthalicious and the CATCH curricula at 8 sites in 4 counties reaching 72 youth. Math and reading standards were met through weekly lesson including cooking activities from the Healthalicious curriculum. Students actively participated in weekly CATCH activities which were led by the resident camp counselors. To enrich the summer camp experience, UC CalFresh offered various 4-H kits to participating sites as an additional resource that could be utilized as part of their summer school program.
Many factors were taken into consideration when designing the CHIP-YSSP. The extender model and the adult-youth mentorship model from UCCE's 4-H Youth Development Program were utilized. UC CalFresh and CHIP recruited resident Camp Counselors to co-facilitate the weekly lessons and recruit youth campers. The program was implemented for 8 consecutive weeks and food was funded through the grant award. The food budget allowed for meals to be offered to participating youth and adults, and also provided the opportunity for residents and families to join their children for lunch or take the food home to their families for a meal later that day. In a retrospective self-reporting survey, CHIP housing managers reported that they either agreed or strongly agreed that as a result of participating in the CHIP-YSSP, they gained new skills and they now feel more confident in delivering the program. In addition, the housing managers reported an increased interest in volunteering more in their community. CHIP also decided to enroll two of their housing communities in the 4-H Robotics Program which offers hands-on activities for youth to learn how to build robots, computer programming, engineering and math.
CHIP Youth Summer School Program Testimonials:
1) “The best part would be the look and excitement of the kids each day that they came to camp. Just walking into camp hey all had smiles of gold!” Rancho De Soto, Glenn County
2) “The summer program has taught me how to communicate better with children. I do little things with them in the weekends”- Shotover and LaPalmas, Glenn County
3) “I felt closer to the children in my community”- La Viste Verde, Butte County
4) “I thought working with a youth would be harder, but I enjoyed it-” East of Eaton, Butte County