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Youth Creating Healthier Environments Lamont School District Yolanda Ramirez PHN M.S.N. Project Coordinator Manuel Ramirez- Adult Ally S.A.S.H. Team.

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Presentation on theme: "Youth Creating Healthier Environments Lamont School District Yolanda Ramirez PHN M.S.N. Project Coordinator Manuel Ramirez- Adult Ally S.A.S.H. Team."— Presentation transcript:

1 Youth Creating Healthier Environments Lamont School District Yolanda Ramirez PHN M.S.N. Project Coordinator Manuel Ramirez- Adult Ally S.A.S.H. Team

2 Young Champions for Change Mt. View Middle School Lamont Elementary School District was one of the 7 original pilot sites for the Youth Empowerment Project.

3 Lamont Demographics Pop. ~13,640 Rural, unincorporated farming community District Enrollment 96.4% Hispanic 65.4% English Language Learners 78.3% Free/Reduced meals

4 Background First group Mt. View Motivators Junior High students Researched the community and found that there were not many healthy options available in the area. The majority of the students reported that their families would travel to Bakersfield (20 minute commute) to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.

5 Because of their research findings, their goals were to: Increase availability of fruits and vegetables in the community Increase awareness of the health benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables and being active Look at the possibility of opening a Farmer’s Market in Lamont

6 Participated in health promotion activities Health Fair, Harvest Festival, Walk to School Day, and a community wide campaign called “Eat Right, Exercise!” 720 families were reached during this campaign Event ended with a ‘mini health fair’ where people were screened for high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and BMI – Nutrition Education-healthy snack demonstration, games for children

7 Eat Right, Exercise! Campaign

8 Walk to School Day, 2007 More than 200 students participated staff members walked with the students ~15 Parents came to walk with the students

9 Motivator Plot in the School Garden

10 Mt View Motivator Successes They learned about research, public speaking, collaboration, and took a closer look at nutrition and health promotion. They learned how to assess their community from a new perspective. They discovered they could help create positive changes in their community. Most of them reported making lifestyle changes in their own lives and influenced their own families to have healthier habits.

11 Most importantly, they left a ‘foot print’ Communicated their research findings to: Other students, School staff, The School Board of Trustees, South Valley Neighborhood Partnership, ‘Eat Right, Exercise Campaign’ partners Started developing partnerships and creating awareness about their goals.

12 Developing Partnerships The partnerships developed are helping the new group achieve their goals now. South Valley Neighborhood Partnership Cesar Chavez Service Learning Dolores Huerta Foundation (HS Group) Community Action Partnership of Kern Kern County Dept. of Public Health LSD Migrant Program After School Program KCSOS

13 The end and a new beginning. At the end of the school year, the Mt. View Motivators interviewed potential team members and made recommendations for the new team. Also needed new adult ally for the new school year

14 Choosing the Right Team Student selection requirements- Good students, eager to learn, enthusiastic, have an interest in science/health, good attitude! Need recommendation by science teachers Students apply for the position Adult ally qualifications needed- Good connection with students, respected well by the community, cares about the community, cares about health promotion, positive role model, good attitude!

15 New Adult Liaison Mr. Ramirez Had helped with Mt. View Motivator selection Knows the district staff, community, and student body very well. 30 years of experience in Lamont School District as teacher and administrator. Science teacher ASP Lead teacher for Mt. View Middle Already aware of all previous Motivator activities, goals, challenges, and successes.

16 Begin with Team Building Build a sense of professionalism in the group, use meeting agendas to help stay on task. Team needs to ‘gel’ well together Ice-breakers, team building exercises Work on group agreements

17 S.A.S.H. Stay Alive, Stay Healthy Maintain old name or forge new identity? Voted in a new name for themselves: ‘S.A.S.H.’ Healthy snacks and taste testing in every meeting Embedded nutrition lessons in everything we do; taste testing, reviewing brochures, posters, cookbooks

18 Next step is to help them assess their community Community Mapping Ideal vs Real Look at all of the communities; Home, school, and the larger community Lots of discussion- about nutrition and opportunities for physical activity (or lack of) What influences the choices we have and make? individual, family, community, policies, laws

19 What’s does the team want to work on? The team begins to set goals Explore their own view of their community “Youth led” ideas Challenge- Too many ideas and opportunities for projects, and not enough time Vote on what should take priority

20 Stay Alive, Stay Healthy Goals Increase community awareness of healthy living habits; benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables, and benefits of being active everyday. Peer education to lower grades. Community service projects. Promote healthy fundraising in the school community. Physical activity promotion in school.

21 Fund-raiser Fruit on a Stick for $1.00 Free veggie cup

22 Adding a twist of lime and chili powder!

23 Raised $150 (twice!) SASH team voted to donate money to a community service project- “United Against Hunger” Used money from the second fund raiser to purchase raffle prizes (used as incentive for students to participate in a food drive)

24 “United Against Hunger” A Student Run Food Pantry Project idea from the Cesar Chavez Service Learning Foundation leader Idea discussed at the youth meeting Everyone wanted to help! SASH named the project: “United Against Hunger” “Unidos Contra el Hambre”

25 “United Against Hunger” Many partners came together to help with weekly project that will run from October 2008 through May 2009 Space- local church Volunteers- many other community youth groups Food –local food bank CAPK Funding- fundraising, food drive Lets add nutrition education and a cooking demonstration – partnered with Kern Co. Department of Public Health

26 “Stuff the Bus” Food Drive Partnered with KERO TV, TV Azteca, Boys Scouts, CAPK Food Bank, KRAB Radio, and other partners >11,000 lbs of food, and $3,300 were collected We collected over 2000 lbs food for the food bank!

27 Other projects planned School wide ‘track and field’ day Nutrition education activities Create short video to take to lower grades and do a fun, short nutrition/PA lesson Give teachers additional lessons/activities to do with the class, (Harvest of the Month or MyPyramid)

28 Successes and Outcomes Public speaking experience Experience with planning and conducting presentations to the Lamont School District Board and other agencies in the South Valley Neighborhood Partnership The opportunity to produce a video promoting the food drive which was viewed by all of the LSD students Sense of accomplishment and connection with the community One of our Team members received the Young Champion for Change Award

29 Media Exposure TV coverage of the opening day of the pantry MAS! Magazine article Cesar E Chavez Service Learning Newsletter Lamont Reporter Article TV coverage of the “Stuff the Bus” food drive in Bakersfield Meeting with Senator Dean Flores’ Staff at the Capitol and received beautiful certificates

30 Stay Alive, Stay Healthy

31 Resources ExCel After School Programs How to Start a Student-Run Food Pantry At your School: A Resource Guide created by AmeriCorpsVista Volunteers SFUSD California Project Jump Start Teens

32 Resources cont. Youth in Focus Curriculum Handouts given out at the food bank are: Discover the Secret to Healthy Living How many cups of Fruits and Vegetables do I need? Guide to Physical Activity Loving Your Family, Feeding Their Future, A Guide to a Healthy Family All available in English/Spanish (California Department of Public Health, Network for a Healthy California) (MyPyramid, USDA)

33 Thank You! Contact Information Yolanda Ramirez PHN, MSN Lamont School District, Nutrition Program Coordinator Manuel Ramirez Mt View Middle School This material was funded by USDA’s Food Stamp Program through the California Department of Public Health’s Network for a Healthy California. These institutions are equal opportunity providers and employers. The Food Stamp Program provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help buy nutritious foods for a better diet. For information on the Food Stamp Program, call


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