Together We Grow Healthy Kids. This is the tagline for Farm to Early Care and Education. It perfectly sums up the work I do as a F2ECE Associate with Postville Headstart. My role is twofold: to provide monthly lessons for Head Start preschool children and to organize events for parents to connect and learn. Through forming relationships with teachers and parents, my work contributes to the mission of growing healthy kids – together.
When I make my monthly visits to the classroom, I am warmly greeted with smiles from both the children and teachers. The children know me as Miss Rachel – the adult who brings songs, games, crafts and food once a month. But my lesson is just one part of the overall exposure the children receive about seasonal, local, good food. Usually the students have already been introduced to the food of the month, have tasted it and have engaged in several activities about it. The teachers at Postville Head Start do a fantastic job of incorporating the F2ECE curriculum into their teaching. In this way, my lesson is a follow up, and the more often children hear something, the more likely it will stick. I am part of a larger effort to educate young children on ways to keep their bodies healthy, strong, and growing.
My monthly events with parents are also occasions to connect. The children know who I am and are happy to see me, which in turn, helps parents connect with me. More importantly, parents can connect with each other. Whether we are cooking, making snacks or taste testing apples, the more parents can talk together and learn from each other, the more effective our mission is. In this way, together, we can together grow healthy kids.
Author: Rachel Sandhorst, NE IA Food & Fitness Early Childhood F2ECE Associate