Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Student Reflection

by Val Kaskovich

Hola, hispanohablantes!  My volunteer work with S.O.A.R. has continued to be lots of fun and very eye-opening. Seeing the academic growth in my student has been truly inspiring. Apart from normal S.O.A.R. activities, some of the students have been involved in a program called "Little Bites for Healthy Kids" two days a week during S.O.A.R. This program is provided by Abriendo Caminos, a research group that aims to promote healthy diet and exercise habits in Latino immigrant children. Click here for more info on Abriendo Caminos (this organization is also a volunteer option for the SPAN 232 course). As part of "Little Bites," the students are engaged in small exercise activities such as stretching and aerobic activity, as well as taught about the value of healthy foods, family meals, and a strong body.

This week, the students in the K/1st classroom learned all about the Food Pyramid - one that, might I add, looks very different from the pyramid I learned as a kid! Instruction was given by the room leader in Spanish and in English. The students seemed to get a kick out of naming as many foods as possible from each group: grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, and meat and beans. After the presentation, the students were given their own Food Pyramids to color and decorate as they pleased.

I think the collaboration between S.O.A.R. and Abriendo Caminos through the "Little Bites" program is a very positive one. The program not only provides vital health knowledge from a young age, but also encourages discussion and incorporation of healthy habits at home. The ability of the program to communicate in both Spanish and English is essential in this very bilingual community. Hopefully, the students will embrace a healthy lifestyle, and maybe even teach their parents a little something, too. I can't wait to see what "Little Bites" has in store for the Booker T. Washington students in the coming weeks.

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