- Author: Chelsey LeeAnn Slattery
In April 2018, EFNEP and UC CalFresh in the Butte Cluster began their partnership with the Sutter County Superintendent of Schools to offer nutrition education and food resource management courses to individuals who are working towards earning their GED in Sutter County's English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Sutter County's ESL program is for non-native speakers of English who are 18 or older and want to improve their language skills. ESL classes are designed for adults who want to learn or improve English reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Classes are designed to help students obtain a job, become more involved in children's education, learn to communicate family health needs, and become involved in community activities.
Dora Maldonado is the Head English as a Second Language Teacher with the Sutter County Superintendent of Schools ESL program. Dora had previously worked at the Farmworker Institute of Education & Leadership Development (FIELD) in Butte County where she played an integral role in the integration of EFNEP's Eating Smart Being Active and UC CalFresh's Making Every Dollar Count lesson series into FIELD's textbook curriculum. Because of her previous knowledge and positive experience with the Butte Cluster's nutrition programs, Dora served as an advocate for our program and was instrumental in opening the door for UC CalFresh and EFNEP at the Sutter County's Superintendent of Schools. In April 2018, Dora made a recommendation for the Sutter County Superintendent of Schools ESL program to incorporate EFNEP's Eating Smart, Being Active (ESBA) and UC CalFresh's Making Every Dollar Count (MEDC) lesson series into the ESL curriculum, which would allow participants to receive academic credit for their participation. This recommendation was well received, and the integration was successful. The ESBA and MEDC curricula now help the ESL program meet the COAAP (Civic Objective Additional Assessment Plan) 46.7 Nutrition Component of their ESL objectives. This is an objective that was picked according to the needs of the students.
Dora contributes a great deal o energy into promoting our classes and assisting our educators with their recruitment efforts, which has contributed to our phenomenal retention strategies and EFNEP graduate rates in Sutter County. She has also helped us secure a classroom site with all the amenities for our educators to provide lessons to a large, diverse group of low-income families in Sutter County. Dora's collaboration with our program is endless and we are extremely thankful for that.
Dora shared that her passion for our nutrition program is that it gets her students to move and think about how to eat a more nutritious meal. She says that her collaboration with EFNEP has helped her fulfill her passion for helping others and that her students really enjoy the one mile walk and the delicious healthy food that anyone can prepare.
Since partnering with the Sutter County Superintendent of School to offer academic credit to participants, EFNEP has offered series-based lessons to 6 ESL group, graduating approximately 180 participants.
Educator Testimonial: “Every class we have is at full capacity as she opened the door to the community not just the registered students. This addition influenced many EFNEP participants to register as High School Students and attain their High School Diplomas and job development for Families of Farmworkers dependents. EFNEP has played a big part in collaborating with FIELD form making sure the hours are completed to High School graduation day” – Sonia Rodriguez, EFNEP Educator in the Butte Cluster
Partner Testimonial: “One reason that motivated me to incorporate the nutrition program into my curriculum is because we have Civic Objective and Additional Assessment Plans (COAAP) for our ESL adult education students. One of our learning objectives for the students is health and nutrition. This program is a perfect fit for our ESL Adult Education program. It is a great motivational program and it is hands on which is perfect when learning the English language. I only wish every adult school could incorporate your nutrition program into their curriculum. Furthermore, the students receive a certificate of completion and credit which is inspiring to the student. It is a sense of accomplishment that they can share with their family.” - Dora L. Maldonado, Head English as a Second Language Teacher with the Sutter County Superintendent of Schools Adult Education Program