Meet Jake!

Hi! I’m Jake Geis and I will be the resource contact for North Fayette/Valley, West Central, Starmont, and Riceville. I come from Green Bay, but I spent my college years at Luther before graduating this past spring. I’ve been in the area for a few years now and I’m so happy to be back. While studying, I could always see that there were great things happening here in Northeast Iowa, but I didn’t have the time to get involved. I’m so excited for this position, and the opportunity it allows me to finally engage in this active and passionate community.
I double majored in Environmental Studies and Biology, using my education as time to explore and begin to understand the physical world around me. I love the outdoors, and I am fascinated by Ecology and Sustainability. I find that the values of preservation and responsible, intentional progress are key to Healthy lifestyles as well. During summers, I have served as Camp Staff to help direct program and lead youth in focused curricular activities. It is so great to be able to find outlets which allow me to share my gifts, knowledge, and passion with others, so I’m glad that I was able to find AmeriCorps.
It’s been a very busy couple of weeks with a flood of new information. I’m finding it a lot easier now that I’m physically in the school and gaining context for my many binders. I’m excited to meet more kids and teachers, and to begin doing lessons, singing songs, and getting active with them!

Dance Your Heart Out!

Recently, I had the chance to fuse two things I’m insanely passionate about: Dance Marathon and Food and Fitness.  For anyone who doesn’t know, Dance Marathon (DM) is a nationwide effort to raise funds and awareness for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country.  Dance Marathons are typically 12-48 hour events that happen at over 100 colleges.  Many colleges partner with local elementary, middle, and high schools to host mini-marathons.  I was lucky enough to find a group of students and teachers at West Central who were willing to put a lot of heart and soul into hosting a mini-marathon and dancing For The Kids! Continue reading

Final Youth Team Gathering of the Year

On Thursday, April 25, representatives from 12 regional school districts gathered at Luther College for the fourth and final Regional 4-H Youth Leadership Team meeting for the 2012-2013 school year. Our first three gatherings focused on promoting youth advocacy for healthier school environments and empowering students to share their stories with key decision makers in local schools and communities. Continue reading

Let Your Voice Be Heard!

On Tuesday, Nov. 27, youth representatives and their coaches gathered again for the second of four Regional Youth Leadership Team meetings. Last month’s gathering engaged leaders in a local foods showcase that encouraged students to think about the food needs of their schools in the wake of the new federal lunch guidelines. In continuing to foster youth advocacy in our region, the November gathering focused on effective communications strategies. Continue reading

“Turning On” Wellness at West Central

Mrs. Kirby’s sixth grade class learned about wellness on Thursday.  The students each had to act out something that makes them healthy or well: being focused, eating well, being energized, and being happy.  We stood in a circle to pass around a ball, and I would tell the students whether they were on or off.  When I turned off a group, the happiness group went from smiling and passing the ball to being too sad to pass the ball. The energized group stopped passing the ball quickly and running in place and slumped over and were too tired to pass the ball. Continue reading