- Author: Evelyn Morales
UC CalFresh has an immense impact on the well being of local communities and is a valuable resource to in the Central Valley of California. My two week rotation offered many hands-on learning experiences that deepened my appreciation for and enhanced my skill set in nutrition education. All UC CalFresh staff members were incredibly friendly and their passion and enthusiasm when teaching at different facilities was inspiring. The impact they are making on their audience was apparent and it was wonderful to be part of it.
One of the classes I got to teach was a Jobs and Beyond class for adults. The curriculum focuses on educating participants on skill sets that can aid them in their personal and professional life. It was interesting to interact and listen to the participants' input. It allowed me to have a better understanding of their situation and how to keep the material relevant to them. At the end of the class, they were very appreciative of our time spent with them. It felt fulfilling knowing that we had made a positive impact on them.
Prior to this rotation, I had limited experience educating small children. However, the fun and engaging lesson materials provided by UC CalFresh made it easy to adapt and teach to various grade levels. The fun songs used by the staff are perfect to educate young children about the importance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein and dairy in their diet. We also had a lot of fun playing games that encouraged physical activity. With lots of giggles and laughter, the kids got to learn about the importance of a healthy diet in their lives.
When not traveling to different school or community sites to provide education, there is plenty of opportunity for creativity at UC CalFresh. I created a poster board with the key message of “All Vegetables Come From Plants” to help educate children about where our vegetables come from and to better understand the anatomy of plants. The poster board will be displayed at a local school site.
My favorite experience was a Jog-a-thon event at a local elementary school. I love being silly, so when I found out I get to dress up as a strawberry and exercise with the kids I was immediately got excited. As you could imagine, a running strawberry was very entertaining for the kids and motivated them to keep going. There is nothing better than having fun while promoting healthier lifestyle choices and at UC CalFresh that is the focus!