Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program graduates first class

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 15, 2021

By Kysha Rooks
N.C. Cooperative Extension

I started this journey as the EFNEP educator on March 1 at Rowan Cooperative Extension Center. After three months of basic comprehensive training and adhering to COVID-19 guidelines, I was fortunate to form a partnership with Haley’s Future Leaders childcare center here in Salisbury. I was so excited about teaching my first summer camp class and the kids were also.

With dedicated assistance from North Carolina State University intern Millennium Sheriff, I was able to prepare for each one-hour class weekly, grades K-2 and 3-5, using Camp Cook Play curriculum. Each lesson consists of a teaching component, food demo/tasting, and physical exercise. Before the first initial class and last class, each youth fills out a pre- and post-survey which evaluates the impact and effectiveness of the curriculum. The data is approved through the federal Expanded Food Nutrition Education reporting system.

When I arrived at my scheduled time and day, the youth were very thrilled about hands-on learning, sharing, processing, and reflection. The first lesson was Safety First, which introduced youth to important concepts of kitchen safety. Lesson two discussed the five food groups, lesson three was on grains, lesson 4 covered fruits and vegetables, lesson five was about protein and lesson six focused on dairy. During the last class, a recap summary was done on all lessons. Youth discussed some of the things they learned, new culinary skills, tried different recipes, and expanded their taste buds. The last event, campers graduated with a certificate of completion of all six classes. I am very happy, youth gained information about the importance of kitchen safety skills, making healthier food choices, nutrients and vitamins in food, being more physically active, and drinking water daily.

Kysha Rooks is EFNEP educator for the Rowan County Cooperative Extension.

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