Begbie View Elementary is a K-7 school serving the families of the downtown area of Revelstoke. Early on in this school year it was observed that many Grade One students were bringing a lot of processed food in their snacks and lunches.
“Will nutrition education, offered by student leaders, about not processed and processed foods help Grade Ones improve their snack choices?”
Two volunteer student leaders met with the gifted teacher to plan their inquiry and choose their action which was to design two lessons that would be presented to our 40 Grade One students. The student leaders conducted research as well as drawing on their knowledge of healthy eating based on their background knowledge and previous Healthy Habits lessons (school wide program). In designing their lessons the student leaders chose to use a combination of lecture, video and hand on activities. When the lessons were presented, three other student leaders also contributed as leader assistants.
After the lessons had been presented, I began to notice that my Grade One’s conversations about their snacks was shifting. Instead of showing each other the sweet processed treats that they had been provided they were showing each other and myself the healthy snacks that they had brought.
Giving the Grade Fives the leadership role in their project has resulted in them being more engaged with the younger students as well as providing opportunities for them to develop their leadership skills. These opportunities will continue as next year they will have the opportunity to be lunch monitors in primary classrooms.
Especially when trying to influence habits for our younger students we must involve their families and offer them the same information that we are teaching the children in school. Increasing parent information and involvement is the direction we feel would have the most impact on our students.