- Author: Nath Say
The UC CalFresh team participated in the SPARK Early Childhood Training at the Merced County Department of Public Health on Thursday, July 30, 2015, and it was a hit!
What is SPARK? "SPARK is a research-based, public organization dedicated to creating, implementing, and evaluating programs that promote lifelong wellness. The program strives to improve the health of children, adolescents, and adults by disseminating evidence-based Physical Education, After School, Early Childhood, and Coordinated School Healthy programs to teachers and recreation leaders serving Pre-K through 12th grade students."
Participants who attended the interactive training engaged in many different physical activities such as dancing, moving like animals and tossing the parachute. Most activities included music and encouraged teachers to always involve every student in the classroom.
SPARK's enthusiastic trainer, Ken McFadden, has been an educator for 49 years. His expertise plays an instrumental role in training teachers on how to implement fun physical activities throughout the school day. He did a great job suggesting different classroom management skills we could use in our instruction.
SPARK introduces many ways to incorporate different games with the traditional parachute. Mr. McFadden showed participants a game called "Class Portrait" where students get a good laugh at seeing only their classmate's "head shot" of the portrait from under the parachute.
We were excited to see that a couple of our teachers from Fresno Unified also attended the training. Mrs. Maria Zamora (right), pictured with Nutrition Coordinator Nath Say, is a Pre-K teacher at Rowell Elementary School. She looks forward to incorporating what she's learned inside her classroom! Mrs. Trujillo from Leavenworth elementary also attended but is not pictured.
Special thanks to Champions for Change, the California Department of Public Health's Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch, and our trainer, Ken McFadden for putting together a great workshop! The UC CalFresh program is excited to receive new resources that we may use alongside our curricula.
- Author: Maira Enriquez
On June 11, 2015 UC Cooperative Extension had an opportunity to attend a C.A.T.C.H (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) training in Chico, CA, hosted by the North Coast and Cascades TRC and presented by Dr. John Krampitz. UC Cooperative Extension believes in innovative team work and expanding their knowledge base. Here they learned new skills to train preschool teachers on ways to implement physical activities in classrooms, involve all children in activities, and encourage healthy eating in the little ones ages 3-5.
“CATCH Early Childhood (CEC) is designed to nurture a love of physical activity, provide an introduction to classroom-based gardening and nutrition. Little ones are motivated to walk, run, jump, dance and move their whole bodies while playing and having fun.”
If you'd like more information regarding C.A.T.C.H and how they can provide a training to your preschools or teachers visit http://catchinfo.org. We look forward to sharing what we learned with teachers in the new school year!
Special thanks to Michele Buran, CSU Chico, NEOP North Coast and Cascades TRC for hosting such a fantastic training!