May 18, 2018

From Disease Prevention to Nutrition

Glitter hands
Glitter hands

Since kicking-off the In-School Health Training Initiative in January, we have successfully completed our disease prevention unit and started our nutrition unit in April. Hilda, our Community Health Educator, reviewed curriculum covered last year about the three types of microbes (virus, bacteria, and fungus) and broadened the discussions on ways in which we can prevent the spread and propagation of germs. Using a plastic ball covered in baby oil and glitter, the students of CEIBI learned how easily germs can propagate and spread. Standing in line, they passed the ball back and forth. The glitter stayed on their hands, even after the ball left, simulating the spread of germs from their peers, toys, and other objects. After the simulation, the kids learned about the importance of washing their hands to prevent the spread of microbes.

Kate, a nutritionist and long-term volunteer for Rising Minds, worked tirelessly to help develop the curriculum for our 2018 nutrition unit. The first trainings focused on “la olla familiar,” also known as the food pyramid or my plate. These diagrams represent nutritional guidelines for eating balanced and healthy meals. The oldest students of CEIBI are practicing organizing various foods into their perspective groups (grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, fats and sugars), all while learning how often each food group should be consumed. The upcoming trainings will focus on Vitamins A, B, and C, calcium, different proteins, and will be accompanied by activities like bingo and cooking classes.

In addition to these interactive health trainings, this initiative is complimented by CEIBI’s in-school garden and Rising Minds’ Educational Garden. The preschoolers are learning how to grow organic food packed with nutritional value and about various sustainable gardening techniques. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, chard, lettuce, and spinach are among some of the seed varieties planted in the gardens.

Simulating the spread of germs using glitter
Simulating the spread of germs using glitter
Organizing food into food groups
Organizing food into food groups
Feb 20, 2018

Right Back At It

Carlos working on a puzzle about our immune system
Carlos working on a puzzle about our immune system

After 2.5 months of school vacation, the RM team is right back at it delivering weekly health trainings to the 60 students of CEIBI, our partner preschool in San Juan La Laguna. During school vacation, RM continued to host our Forest Playgroup adventures with students and their families, to foster the children’s natural sense of curiosity and encourage physical activity and outdoor exploration. Furthermore, Hilda, our Community Health Educator, worked alongside Kate, a volunteer nutritionist, to develop the curriculum for our nutrition unit. We are so excited to introduce the kids to super heroes Calcium and Vitamin D, and use games like bingo and versions of “pin the tail on the donkey” to aid us in delivering our health trainings. More to come on our nutrition unit when we kick it off in April.

Like last year, we started our health trainings off with our disease prevention unit. The first training dealt with the immune system, or in other words, our body’s superhero. The preschoolers learned about the functions of the immune system and ways in which we can help strengthen it. The kids called on information they learned last year and talked about how good personal hygiene (washing hands, bathing, and brushing teeth) and eating healthy can help keep our superhero strong. In the next training Hilda continued with reviewing the three types of microbes (bacteria, virus, and fungus) and the ways in which we can prevent the spread of these harmful monsters. Over the next few weeks we will be making a homemade hand sanitizer and toothpaste to complement our disease prevention curriculum.

After we finish our disease prevention unit we will move on to our nutrition unit in April and then our mental health unit in July. We are pumped for what 2018 has in store for our In-School Health Training Campaign and can’t wait to share the trainings with you all, so keep following along!

Freshly washed hands!
Freshly washed hands!
Germs, yuck!
Germs, yuck!
Nov 22, 2017

That's a Wrap [On 2017]

Brushing our teeth with homemade toothpaste!
Brushing our teeth with homemade toothpaste!

The end of October marked the end of the 2017 school year and the end of our pilot In-School Health Training Campaign. Rising Minds staff worked tirelessly over 2017 to develop the curriculum and to deliver weekly health trainings at our partner preschool, CEIBI, to over 60 Maya indigenous youth! Our campaign consisted of three units: disease prevention, nutrition, and mental health.

We kicked on the campaign with our disease prevention unit. The kids first learned about the three types of microbes: virus, bacteria, and fungus. Using bigger than life drawings of these “scary monsters,” we taught the preschoolers where they can find these microbes and how they can be transmitted. However, we did not forget about beneficial fungi, like yeast and “flor de vinagre.” We learned about our immune system and how it’s functions and its characteristics. From there the students of CEIBI learned about the importance of healthy personal hygiene habits like washing our hands, brushing our teeth, bathing, and sneezing into our elbows to help prevent the spread of germs. Activities such as making our own hand sanitizer and natural toothpaste were well received among kids, teachers, and parents during this unit.

We segued from from our disease prevention unit to our unit on nutrition. During these trainings the kids learned about eating healthy, the evils of junk food (see previous report on the “Story of Mardoqueo”), vitamins, proteins and nutrients. Our classroom trainings were complimented by trainings in CEIBI’s in-school garden and the Rising Minds’ Educational Garden. During our expeditions to the gardens the students got to get their hands dirty planting nutritionally rich seeds, such as kale, lettuce, beets, and chard. We finished the school year with our unit on mental health. These trainings dealt with themes such as self-esteem, self acceptance, and emotions.

With our first series of health trainings coming to an end, we’ve begun to work on the curriculum development for next year. Classes will start in mid-January and we can’t wait to be back at CEIBI on a weekly basis. We also are planning our monthly Family Wide Health Training Initiative to involve the parents of our students. Our In-School Health Training Campaign has been approved by the Ministry of Education and we could not be more thrilled to continue our work in 2018!

Cilantro from CEIBI's In-School Garden
Cilantro from CEIBI's In-School Garden
 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.