We all love to hear a good story. For kids, stories bring them into imaginary worlds and encourage them to activate their creativity and visual thinking. For the second graders in Live Healthy Kids, these stories transport them to different cultures as they travel to countries such as Japan, Lebanon, Brazil and Ethiopia.
In the spring semester of Live Healthy Kids, students explore the richness of these cultures by taking a “trip around the world”. The lessons usually include a slide presentation introducing the country and its staple dish. They help prepare the dish and taste it together at the end of the class. This spring, however, this cornerstone children’s program is replacing the slide presentation with storytime.
“We are excited to have partnered with second grade teacher (and former LHK volunteer) Samantha Thomas in Florida. She helped us pair each cultural lesson with a storybook,” explained Cara Haughey, Director of Children’s Programming. Currently, the storybooks are being piloted in two of the nine schools in Athens County, Alexander Elementary and Amesville Elementary. “We hope to expand to all classrooms next year,” Cara continued. “So far, it’s been a much more engaging experience for the students, and it has the added benefit of promoting literacy along with healthy eating and cultural awareness!”
Spencer Minnich, the COMCorps member and Food Educator at Alexander Elementary, recognizes the value of storytime for her students. “[They] look forward to storytime every week -- so much so that they have started asking me what story we are going to read as soon as I walk in! They love making predictions, learning about other cultures, and learning a life lesson or two.”