Friday, September 30, 2011

Taylor Mountain Shows Off

I arrived just in time for snack at Taylor Mountain Elementary.

Andi Fletcher, a long time after school advocate and pioneer, is visiting the CalSERVES program with staff from Sacramento START to check out our nutrition education and wellness practices.

We watch a My Plate lesson where nutrition specialists Kristina and Brianna discuss what is or chicken.  They also talk about what you could put on pizza to make it healthier.  Some good suggestions from the students included peppers and pineapple.

A visit to the Kinder class led by KC and Crystal....

where they encourage students to get their "wiggles" out....too cute.

Our wonderful visitors from Sacramento START.  I love the process of sharing and learning that happens in these visits.  We can get isolated and it is wonderful to talk with other after school professionals to get new ideas and inspiration.

Thank you Kristen, Annette and everyone at the CalSERVES Taylor Mountain Elementary program for setting up such a wonderful day.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Wright Stuff

I visited Wright Charter School on Friday afternoon to check in with the group and see how the first Fitness Week of the year went.  Little known fact:  I was a proud student of Wright school in the second grade.

Taylor and Jenna greet me with big smiles.

Stacey and Lauren struck a pose to celebrate the news that they are doing well in our social media competition.  Lauren has been spearheading the groups efforts!

During Fitness Week students wear pedometers and track their steps in an effort to increase physical activity and improve fitness.  Prizes were given to students in each grade who returned their pedometers the most.  

Students created a drum roll for the prize announcements.

The little one shows off his paddleball prize before packing it up in his back pack.

 Jenna generates excitement around the prize table.

We had a good discussion about things we can do to encourage students to set fitness goals as the year progresses.  We have this baseline set of numbers, how to we encourage personal growth in each area?  We talked about developing a personal log or journal for each student so they can set goals and track their own progress.

I also met up with Mentor Teacher (for 13 years!) Ellen Desmond.  Here she is standing in front of the Cesar Chavez mural created by CalSERVES about 10 years still looks great.

 Oh your energy!  Thank you for all you do...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Healthy Behaviors at Kawana

I visited Kawana yesterday, joining Ediel from the Center for Collaborative Solutions.  She came to our site to see promising practices in the area of nutrition education and healthy behaviors. Our program is a Healthy Behaviors Learning Center, where we serve as models for other after school programs throughout the State on how to instill healthy habits in our students.

Snack included a banana this day...After School Team Leader Jackie Williams provided the students with lots of info about what the banana can do for you.  It has potassium which is good for the body and the mind.  As one student correctly pointed out, it also helps keep you regular (that isn't exactly what he said as you can imagine!)

A fun game of Fruit Salad...This one is like "Have you Ever" or musical chairs but with fruit.  It got the students moving!

Fruit and veggie many can you name?

Supervising Teacher, Katherine Brooks named quite a few.  

She shared with us some of her thoughts on health and nutrition:

Why do you think focusing on nutrition and health is important? 
Nutrition and health are important components of child development. When our students leave us, we want them to have the habits and knowledge they need to grow into healthy, happy adults.

What is your favorite vegetable? 

What is the best physical activity you have ever done or seen done at your site? 
I like obstacle courses and relay races where everyone is active at the same time and working with each other to achieve a team goal. 

The kindergarten room...learning their alphabet through song.  The students and mentors were going strong even at the end of a long day.

CalSERVES supervising teacher Katherine Brooks and Kindergarten mentor teacher Melinda Bachman pose at the end of our visit.  Thank you ladies for all you do.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Schools In!

As we start our work with students, the buzz at the schools is evident.  It is a mix of nerves and excitement but.. mostly excitement.  I visited Bellevue to get some words of wisdom from their principal on how to approach the new school year.
Bellevue Principal Beth Wilson and Supervising Teacher Yesenia Salas-Chavira
Principal Beth Wilson Interview 

What advice do you have for members on how to handle the stress of students in those first days?  
"It is important to have a sense of clarity about the day.  You need to have clear intentions yourself in order to communicate in kid language with students what it looks like, sound like, and feels like.  If you can do that things will feel and stay calm, focused and centered even though it is all new."

What is your favorite aspect of the CalSERVES program?
"The best thing is that CalSERVES helps kids stay connected to school and having fun!"

What is the most important role for the mentors?
"They show that school is a great place to be because of the relationships that are developed and the learning that goes on.  Their most important role is to help students become all they can be."

Mentors post their school pictures....very cute!
The Bellevue team hung pictures of themselves when they were in elementary school.  What a great way to get to know each other better and connect with their childhood experiences.

The Bellevue Team!
The team is very excited ... they saw their kids for the first time the day before I got there.  They are having fun getting to know the personalities and establishing their important role in the lives of the students they will be with this year. 

Mentor Teacher and CalSERVES Alum, Mr. Craig Jacques
Bellevue is excited to have Craig Jacques as their mentor teacher this year.  He teaches 6th grade at Bellevue and he was a former CalSERVES alum!