- Author: Angelica Perez
Mrs. Roxie Schallberg quickly acknowledged that implementing the Lowe's garden grant required more than just a vision. After Madison Elementary received the grant money, there were steps to take with the district, school and maintenance staff to make this vision come to life.
To begin the garden project, Angelica Perez, UC CalFresh coordinator, supported Mrs. Roxie Schallberger in applying for the grant. Once the grant was awarded she was able to guide her in scheduling a meeting to help her in the initial steps to begin the grant implementation. In the meeting was Madison Principal Mercedes Ochoa, and Curtis Manganaan, Director of Maintenance and Operations for the district. They both played a key role in helping to identify barriers and solutions and how to bring together a new garden at the school site. As the meeting ended, all the information and next steps where identified and the garden vision was soon becoming a reality.
The garden beds were recommended to be built by Ripperdan Community Day School in Madera, CA. Students in Mr. Scanlan's wood shop class were tasked with building the wooden garden beds and benches for Madison. Maintenance staff are also much appreciated for the design of the garden location, leveling the ground, fencing off the area and in making the garden area nice and easy to use. Finally, the “We Believe in Healthy Living" Madison Mavericks garden sign came in after the beds and benches were in place. The garden is now ready to be fully used. Although the original plan for the Madison garden took a turn in the beginning planning changes, the new location and design was even better than the original plan.
The We Believe in Healthy Living Garden at Madison Elementary was a big team effort that created impactful connections with Mrs. Schallberger, Madison Staff, UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program, Lowe's, Ripperdan Community Day School and the school district and maintenance staff. All of these collaborations and contributions make the Madison Mavericks We Believe in Healthy Living garden project even more special. The school looks forward to its official garden opening day next year and will plan to have lessons in the garden for all grade levels that wish to participate. Below are some pictures detailng the progress of the garden.
- Author: Angelica Perez
- Editor: Emily Harris
UC CalFresh had a special visitor stop by to see what impact our nutrition program is having in Madera Unified School District. Ms. Nava's 2nd grade class at La Vina Elementary School learned all about “Varying Your Protein Food Choices" along with Congressman Jim Costa. This lesson focused on choosing a healthy balance of plant and lean animal protein foods every day. The students put their knowledge to the test during a group activity, where they helped each other sort out what foods come from plant sources and what foods come from animal sources.
Costa even participated in mixing together the Mango and Black Bean Salad recipe with Nutrition Program Coordinator, Angelica Perez. He began calling himself, “Mr. Mixer” during the recipe activity, which the students loved! A couple of students even asked for seconds from Mr. Mixer!
Students also joined in on an indoor physical activity called "Animal Charades" with Nutrition Educator, Austin Cantrell. They had fun acting out different animals without making a sound. Overall, the students enjoyed the experience and learned what Costa's role is as a congressman, and how he represents our Central Valley communities in Washington, D.C.
Pictured above, Principal Navarro, Ms. Nava and Congressman Jim Costa at La Vina Elementary in Madera, CA./span>
- Author: Angelica Perez
It's National Nutrition Month! This year's theme is, “Putting Your Best Fork Forward” to show us how every bite you take counts.
This month is also a reminder of what was highlighted in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: change takes time, so beginning with a small change to reach a healthier, long lasting habit is important. Here are some key messages provided by eatright.org to take into consideration this National Nutrition Month:
- Create an eating style that includes a variety of your favorite, healthful foods.
- Practice cooking more at home and experiment with healthier ingredients.
- How much we eat is as important as what we eat. Eat and drink the right amount for you, as MyPlate encourages us to do.
- Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week.
- Manage your weight or lower your health risks by consulting a registered dietitian nutritionist. RDNs can provide sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.
How do you plan to take charge of your health this month? Hopefully this month motivates you to make a small change or to continue making changes you are already working on. Nutrition is not one size fits all, and we hope you find your perfect fit to a healthier lifestyle.
For more information on National Nutrition Month, visit eatright.org and get inspired!
- Author: Lin Zhang
- Editor: Emily Harris
Fresno and Madera Counties' UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program has a long standing partnership with the Fresno State Dietetic Internship Program. This blog post is part of our Intern Reflections Series.
Before interning at UC Cooperative Extension, I never thought about how important health education is to a community. During this fun rotation, I had the opportunity to participate in both the adult and youth nutrition education programs at UC CalFresh. The classes deliver healthy eating and living concepts through interesting stories, pictures, cooking demonstrations, food tastings, simple physical activities and fun games and activities. UC CalFresh also gives out colorful and easy-to-read nutrition handouts, healthy recipe books, and cooking and measuring tools for people to stay healthy. All the nutrition classes greatly emphasize eating according to MyPlate, consuming proper portion sizes, and getting adequate physical activity.
It was such a rewarding moment for me to see the smiling faces of my kindergarten and first grade “audience” while I read them a nutrition storybook.
Another fun project I enjoyed a lot was creating a “Nutrition Corner.” The theme of my corner was “Proper Hydration,” targeting the senior population. The information displayed on the corner will help them to understand the importance of proper hydration and provide ways to help them stay hydrated every day. It took me a while to create a cohesive message, but I felt that my hard work paid off when the final product was complete.
Overall, the UC CalFresh team taught me many things through projects, assignments, and fun activities. From my two weeks at UCCE, I observed the community's need for nutrition information, the participants' appreciation of the classes that UC CalFresh offers and the changes people are making thanks to UC CalFresh's efforts. I am very thankful I could be a part of these meaningful moments.
- Author: Hannah Lee
Storey Elementary's new Nutrition Corner emphasizes physical activity just in time for those New Year's Resolutions! The Nutrition Corner is featured in the staff lounge, reminding teachers that physical activity is important for their students and themselves.
Getting enough exercise can seem daunting, but it is possible. Try breaking up the time throughout the day, such as walking around the office during your breaks and playing outside with your kids after work. Whether it's playing sports, running around the block with a friend, or walking the dog, find a way to do some physical activity today! Remember - adults need 2 and a half hours of moderate intensity physical activity every week and children need 1 hour per day! How will you (and your kiddos!) meet those recommendations in 2017?
Nutrition Corners are a great way to reinforce nutrition education at your school. If you're interested in adding one to your classroom, contact your nutrition educator.