Stehlik Intermediate School students participated in the CASE AmeriCorps Wellness program recently. Cooperative for After-School Enrichment (CASE) students learned about the benefits of eating vegetables.
AmeriCorps members of Harris County Department of Education’s CASE Division organized the fair. This formed part of the many events held for Global Youth Service Day at school districts and communities.
The preteens kept an open mind toward vegetables. They played the role of food scientists. Students recorded their observations about the taste, texture and feel of various veggies. They also learned about the benefits of sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.
Cindy Garza, a CASE AmeriCorps member who led the project at Stehlik Intermediate, says the event provided fun, hands-on activities for the students.
A Houston Food Bank nutrition educator also participated. The educator explained the health benefits of using the USDA’s My Plate program. The program’s healthy menu promotes veggies that are chock-full of vitamins, nutrients and fiber for growth and development.
Yolanda Martin, CASE AmeriCorps member, worked with a group of students. She discussed how fruits and vegetables are important to stay healthy.
“Children need to learn how to make good food choices,” said Martin.
Other community organizations that participated in the Wellness Fair at Stehlik Intermediate School included the Attention Deficit Disorder Association and the Texas Department of State Health Services’ WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Program.
According to Valencia Madden, CASE AmeriCorps member, healthy snack demonstrations give students information they can use, which can affect their health now and in the future.
“Events such as the Wellness Fair, promote health, fitness, and disease prevention,” Madden said. “The fair also introduces students and families to resources in the community that can help them lead healthier lives.”
CASE, is a division of Harris County Department of Education, supports more than 55 after-school programs that serve children in area school districts throughout Houston and Harris County. CASE AmeriCorps members provide support to out-of-school time programs in elementary, middle and high schools as well as community organizations like the YMCA or Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs.
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