- Author: Lacey Harter
- Contributor: Shawna Rogers
- Editor: Emily Harris
Fresno County's 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.
I wasn't exactly sure what happens at UC CalFresh, but I did know it was community based, and that the program promoted nutrition education. I also knew that the nutrition educators would go into elementary schools and provide a 20-30 minute lesson about nutrition. Since school had just started, I was told that we would, unfortunately, not be able to see the nutrition education in the classroom. This was a bit disappointing because I love teaching and being exposed to different styles and techniques (especially classroom management).
Me putting together teaching tools used for Youth Nutrition lessons
I started my two-week rotation like that of any other new job: paperwork. There is an online certification process that takes about 4 hours. Being one to like to do things the hard way, I completed the wrong certification and had to start all over the next day. Good times! I did learn a lot about privacy, participant's rights, and other legal matters pertaining to studies, so it was all worth it!
There is also an assignment during the first few days where you are required to complete questions pertaining to the curriculum of the UC CalFresh program. This was an excellent opportunity to begin to understand the idea behind the lessons taught, how they are delivered, and what was appropriate for the audience being addressed.
John C. Martinez Elementary School Back to School Night with my fellow intern, Gene Thao
My first teaching observation was with a Jobs 2000 class taught by nutrition educators Javier and Yolanda. It was the first of four lessons for this class, so I was able to understand where the nutrition education began, and how it was delivered to older adults. It was a fun experience, and the educators were great at not only teaching, but also interacting with their class.
Later in the week Brittanny Zweigle took me to an elementary school to sign teachers up for the program. This was an eye opening experience, as Brittanny explained how important the relationship is between UC CalFresh and the staff and faculty of the schools in Fresno County. There truly was a great relationship demonstrated between not only Brittanny and the staff and faculty, but also the teachers and the UC CalFresh program itself. Everyone, students and adults alike, were so excited when they saw her! It was evident that other educators believe that the UC CalFresh program is essential to promoting a healthy lifestyle in the community.
Me sitting in a Pre-School classroom
I ended my first week at a Back to School night with nutrition educator Angelica at John C. Martinez Elementary School in Parlier. What a great school! So many families came out to celebrate the new school year. Our display had wonderful, easy to understand information about MyPlate. Although we were initially there to survey parents, we interacted with kids who knew so much about MyPlate! Why did they know the 5 food groups in 1st grade? Because they had UC CalFresh nutrition education in kindergarten, providing another great example of how many people are being reached with this amazing program! Angelica was awesome with her bilingualism and also training two interns. Very impressive!
I ended my second week in the best way possible: I was going to see an amazing nutrition educator teach to preschoolers! Shawna Rogers has been my guardian angel while doing my rotation at UC CalFresh, and I could never thank her enough for her patience, respect, and professional expertise. Seeing her in action was amazing, inspirational, and so much fun! She knows her audience and can teach a lesson while providing an entertaining and learning-friendly environment. I wish I had Mrs. Rogers as my nutrition educator!
The people who work at UC CalFresh were extremely welcoming and willing to teach me all about their job and how this program impacts the community. Thank you for sharing your space, knowledge, and time with me! I envy the next intern at UC CalFresh, and I can't wait to hear about their experience!