The fourth and fifth graders of the KLAS after school program at San Miguel Elementary School in Sunnyvale are currently participating in an exciting pilot project titled “Impact of High School Mentoring Program on Nutritional Knowledge and Healthy Habits of Elementary School Students”. The project is being led by a San Jose State graduate student who was inspired by the 5210 program in both the elementary and high school settings. This project pairs teams of four to five fourth and fifth graders with teen mentors from Fremont High School in Sunnyvale. There will be a total of eight workshops each one hour in length. The hour is divided into three 20-minute segments. The first segment is a brief nutrition lesson which is followed by a hands-on snack making activity. The workshops conclude with teens leading their “teams” in an exciting physical activity challenge. This project was inspired by the powerful sense of pride for their elementary schools that the Fremont High students conveyed during the second year participating in the 5210 program. The power of exposing elementary students to teen mentors was apparent during the first workshop when one of the mentors observed her team shift from saying “yuck, green peas” to all being excited to taste the green pea hummus their teen mentor made with them.
Contributor: Jeremy Loader, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Health Education Program Specialist, serves as Educational Advisor for this program.