Member in the News

We love seeing our members and their service projects in the news!  Great work, Keia!

Students practice reading food labels, try new foods during grocery store field trip

By April Toler 331-4353 | atoler@heraldt.com
April 24, 2012


Nancy Wroblewski, left, asks Arlington Elementary School student Keisha Herron to read the ingredients in a box of cereal last week during a healthful food field trip to the Marsh Supermarket on Kinser Pike. Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times


Wesley Perry, left, and Arrick Gingles try mango during a field trip last week to the Marsh Supermarket on Kinser Pike, where Nancy Wroblewski was teaching them about healthful food choices. Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times

Ask fourth-grader Griffin Powers what healthful snack he likes best, and he’s quick to answer with an enthusiastic “bananas!”
But after participating in a little shopping and food tasting at Marsh Supermarket last week, bananas may have been knocked down a place on Powers’ list.
“I loved the mango,” said Griffin, an Arlington Elementary School student. “It was my first time trying it, and I’m going to ask my dad every time (we go shopping) to get me one.”
Griffin’s mango experience was part of the YMCA’s Energize program, which teaches area students about health and physical fitness.
This year the program, which meets for an hour each week, is taking place at Highland, Arlington and Templeton elementary schools.
Last week’s trip was the first time the program has left the classroom and headed into the grocery store.
The idea came about after Nancy Wroblewski, community outreach coordinator with the YMCA, and Americorps service member Keia Cole noticed their students were not eating a lot of fruits and vegetables.
The reason, according to the students, was that their parents couldn’t afford them.
“I thought it would be an awesome idea to try to teach them how to grocery shop on a budget, versus not being able to eat healthy because they can’t afford it,” Cole said.
So last Tuesday, and again today, Cole and Wroblewski led their students throughout Marsh Supermarket, pointing out fruits and vegetables and healthful grains and how to compare prices.
Armed with that week’s sales ad, the students also learned how to weigh and calculate the cost of produce and to look for items on sale.
The students also practiced reading food labels, a lesson they had been learning in class.
Wroblewski has been working with Monroe County Community School Corp. students for years, and said most of them are receptive to learning more about living a healthful lifestyle.
“When I come in at the beginning of the class, they are really proud to tell me, ‘Oh, I had an apple for lunch,’ or . I’ll see these kids in the summertime, and they’ll come running up to me and say ‘Nancy, I’ve been eating healthy all summer,’” Wroblewski said. “They really seem to get into it and they are really proud of themselves.”
In fact, during the lesson all of the children, including Hannah Ringquist, were quick to give their opinions on the foods they tried.
“I liked the mango and the peppers, but not the avocado,” a serious Hannah said.
Although not all of the fruits and vegetables they tried were hits, their enthusiasm for trying them was high. In fact, most of the children were eager to both learn and share their knowledge about eating healthfully.
“Healthy stuff is all around you,” Griffin said. “You can even make your own healthy stuff.”

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2012

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