- Author: Evelyn Morales
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.
Over my two weeks with UC Cal Fresh, I was able to observe many different teaching styles, lessons, and how to engage and respond to participants. Having the opportunity to travel to different schools and adult programs, including Ayer and Viking Elementary Schools, the VA Hospital, and Jobs and Beyond, gave me a better understanding of the populations that UC CalFresh serves. I was able to see how the lessons progress in what the children are taught from kindergarten through 5th grade and how much information they receive.
Cassie reads Potter the Otter to the an elementary class
The books used for the lessons were great. I was able to see that the kids really learn from them and enjoy listening. From all of the lessons and classes I observed in the elementary schools, the repetition of the lesson theme really kept the children engaged. I also really enjoyed teaching the class of 5th graders about MyPlate and playing breakfast bingo to discuss the importance of a healthy breakfast. Throughout my education, I have not had much opportunity to work with children, so this rotation has helped give me that experience. With the lessons I have observed, assisted with, and taught I have noticed that it can be challenging to keep the participants engaged and on task.
Teaching students about the importance of hand washing
In regard to the adult classes, I really learned how to address questions that I do not have an answer for and how some recommendations can be based on personal preferences. I really liked that with the adult classes, it is emphasized that they are learning recommendations and that it is up to them to choose what they listen to and practice in their life. This is something that I have learned about in school, and it was great to hear it talked about in classes. While assisting with the adult classes, I was able to help answer questions and this was fun because I didn't have much opportunity for this with the youth classes.
UC CalFresh coordinator Hannah and Cassie serve a radish, cilantro, and spinach tasting to a transitional kindergarten class - picked fresh from their own garden!
Finally, I really enjoyed being a part of the garden harvest and tasting event at Ayer Elementary. Because of this program, these children are being exposed to the opportunity to grow food and try what they have grown. That is such a great experience for these children. I have learned and realized how much education is done with UC Cal Fresh and how important this work is. So far in my internship, I have mainly been at community-based rotations, and I have found that I really enjoy community outreach and nutrition education. This rotation has made me realize that even more. These past two weeks have gone by too quickly, and I have enjoyed all of it.