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Encouraging Youth Health and Fitness

Encouraging Youth Health and Fitness

I typically take advantage of my time off from school to sleep in as much as possible. This Spring Break, there was no sleeping in for me! I had the pleasure of spending my mornings visiting various preschool classes within the Santa Clara Unified School District. I was honored to have been able to reach out to 8 classes from Montague, Bracher, and Mayne Children’s Centers; approximately 140 children. My visits were very welcoming by teachers, staff and all the adorable children! The objective of my visits was to spread my passion of Encouraging Youth Health and Fitness. With one third of America’s children overweight, I find it ideal to target preschools and younger grade levels to teach them how easy it is to live a healthy lifestyle.

My visit to each of the classrooms followed the same format. I talked about the food pyramid and discussed easy and fun activities that they (the children) can take part in to get their everyday exercise. I chose two short stories to share with the children; Let’s Be Fit by P.K. Hallinan and Good for Me and You by Mercer Mayer. These stories are perfect for teaching young children healthy habits and various fun fitness activities. While reading the stories, the boys and girls would enthusiastically point out the healthy foods and the activities the characters in stories would do. After our group discussion about the two stories, each child had the opportunity to share with their classmates and myself what their own favorite healthy food and exercise is. Carrots, broccoli, and apples are very popular! As well as, baseball, football, and jump rope! As a leave-behind, I gave each child a food pyramid book mark that they can use to remember where foods fell within the food pyramid.

Towards the end of my visit, I asked if anyone had anything they wanted to know about me. Most of the kids just shared more of their favorite foods and activities they enjoyed doing. But, they also wanted to know about my crown or my “hat, tiara, shiny thing” (they would call it) that was on my head. I would do my best to explain to them that I am Miss Mission City’s Outstanding Teen 2011. They all wanted to believe I was a “real princess”. When I asked if anyone was interested in trying on the crown, all of their hands shot up! So, like they all wanted, everyone got to be a princess or prince for a few seconds.

By the time my visit was over, the children had new knowledge of what activities they can do to be active and what foods are healthy to eat (now that they had a nifty food pyramid bookmark). Their chance to be a prince or princess for a few seconds was exciting to see as their faces lit up. I had a great time visiting these eight classes. The enthusiasm of all the children makes me feel accomplished. During my summer break, I definitely plan on visiting more preschools to enlighten more children of the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.


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