Project Proposal & Group Objectives

 

Bread we pre-made as a test for our first session

Welcome back to our blog! Todays blog post will be updating you on where we are at with our Food Myth busters adventures…

Our Weekly Objectives and Achievements

As we continue to work towards implementing our project at Gordon Neighborhood House in the coming weeks, we have been setting weekly goals to ensure that we stay on track.  During week 4, we began thinking about our proposal and during this week we designed a rough idea of our project purpose and objectives.  Week 5 focused on writing and revising our proposal, finalizing some ideas, and getting the group as well as our community partner, on the same page. We ensured we were all aware of group objectives, goals, and the project purpose.

Currently (weeks 6-7), our goal is to finalize the program so that we know exactly what activities we will we be doing with the kids and the purpose of these specific activities. We want to ensure that our activities are not only exciting and engaging for the children, but also implement food literacy knowledge effectively. During week 8, we will meet with our community partner to execute Program Day 1. The following week will be focused on reflecting on how well Day 1 went; What worked what didn’t? How can we improve to make Day 2 better?

Finally, during week 10, we will meet again with our community partner for Program Day 2; But this time we will implement a different activity with the children. We will assess the information the kids retained from day 1, and determine whether our program was successful.

Our Reflection:

What? – A moment of significance we have encountered in this course so far was when we had the opportunity to share personal stories with each member of the group. Prior to this experience, we did not know each other at all….you could say we were strangers…have much time to connect with one another on a deeper level so we all felt that this was a significant moment for us. We felt that The tutorial activities allowed us to bond as a team and get to know each other better creating a positive atmosphere and group chemistry. As each group member shared a story, we were able to listen, reflect, and provide feedback as well as support. Each person’s story was relatable as we felt that we have a lot of similarities among ourselves. The only limiting factor we experienced during this activity was the shortage of time as we have 6 members and everyone wanted to provide their feedback thoroughly for each person.

So what? – The difficult aspect of working with a group to achieve a certain goal is finding ways to emphasize and use everyones varying strengths. As we all were strangers before this class, there was a level of uncomfortableness coming into such a situation where we suddenly had to plan and execute a whole project together. We found that the story sharing activity taught us to be open with each other without fearing judgement or negative consequences. With the oncoming pressures of actually executing this project, the level of understanding of each others strengths will positively benefit us as we try to turn this “messy” project into a successful endeavour. As Tim Harford (2016) explained in his Ted Talk, that when you reach the point where the projects problems seem impossible to solve, and you reach the moment when the solution is unclear, that is when the group is most inspired to think creatively.We were able to bond with our group members on a more personal level which we believe will create a safe environment to be able to share and create ideas to further improve our project.all agreed was a beneficial use of our class time. We felt that this was a genuine experience allowing us to utilize our individual skills and work on team building skills, as well as build a positive dynamic for our group We are hoping this will make us more successful in our goals and this success will be evident during our future workshops. We can confidently say this opportunity to build our team will result in a project that is more likely to run smoothly, be more organized, and ultimately be more efficient at achieving our goal of increasing the food literacy skills of children at the Gordon Neighbourhood House. It was a rewarding experience as we were able to express our thoughts and feelings in the comfort of our group. We felt that the story sharing activity was beneficial all around for the people listening and for the person sharing their story. To improve the next story sharing activity, we decided it would be best to focus on 1 person at a time or 1 conversation rather than multiple conversation within our group.

Now what? With a big group of 6 members, it may be difficult to always listen to what someone is saying if everyone is talking at once or if there are multiple conversations going on as previously mentioned.  We feel that in order to improve ourselves individually and as a group, we should focus on how to best utilize our varying individual skills to achieve the best outcome as a group. We feel that with more opportunities to share our personal feelings, we will be able to learn more about each other to create a good chemistry for our group. If we stick with our goals, we feel that we will perform our best when we hold the workshops at Gordon Neighborhood House for the kids and ourselves. Now that we have the awkward phase of getting to know each other and creating an efficient group dynamic over with, we feel that there is more time to focus on our ultimate goals for this whole project- Increasing food literacy skills amongst the children that attend the Gordon Neighbourhood House after school program. As we feel comfortable and open with one another, the biggest issue we feel that we need to consider is how we can create a positive learning experience for the kids with the limited time we have. The term is passing by really fast, so for the upcoming weeks we will focus on assigning tasks to each team member that align with our personal strengths. This is to ensure not only that everyone is participating an equal amount, but also able to complete the tasks in a timely manner. Another aspect we can focus on is making sure to take into account what our community partner is asking for. As Ernesto Sirolli (2012) described in his Ted talk, that there’s a significant importance in listening to the community you are trying to help, instead of assuming you know the best ways to do things. In this way we are now going to be shifting our focus onto understanding the needs of the staff and children we will be interacting with. This will be done in order know how to best use our time with them so that they gain the most from the experience.

We have decided to focus on 3 main objectives:

  1. Objective: to lay out concrete lesson plans for our two visits.
    Strategy: to find activities that are appropriate, fun,  and will provide a lesson in food literacy.
  2. Objective: to gather all materials we will need for our workshops. Strategies: to find out what we have access to at the community house by communicating with the coordinator and make an exact list keeping in mind the number of children, budget, and time. We will assign specific tasks to each group member.
  3. Objective: to find ways to determine the food literacy and skills of the children before and after our workshops. Strategies: create qualitative questions to ask the children and find a way to record the answers, tape record or carry a notepad, check to see if the children are participating, completing projects and recording all the data, create questions to ask the group and record a show of hands, try to get a sense of the demographic of the kids and record it, assign one person to do most of the recordings so that we don’t miss anything or misinterpret data.

 

PDF of Thank you for checking in on our progress! For our definition of Food Literacy, and for more information on our project, Check out our proposal report here: ProposalReport

 

References:

Harford, T (2016). How messy problems can inspire creativity Ted Talks 2016.[Video File].  Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/Jd_j_kw_jZQ

Sirolli, E. (2012). Want to help someone? Shut up and listen! Ted Talks. [Video File]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chXsLtHqfdM

 

Welcome to our Food Mythbusters for Kids Blog… our 2017 Community Project!

At Gordon Neighborhood House (Left to Right: Marina, Colleen, Maxine, Jamie, Megan, Zoe)

“Children are regarded as a flower that needs nourishment, love and care. Think of our children as a garden, they need a place to show their beauty and pride.” — Cowichan Coast Salish (retrieved from http://gordonhouse.org)

Welcome to our blog, Food Mythbusters for Kids! We are a group of 6 ladies, Colleen, Megan, Maxine, Zoe, Jamiee, and Marina, who are all undergraduate students a part of in the faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia. This term, we will we working with Gordon Neighborhood House to plan and implement food related workshops for the children involved in their after school program.The main objective we hope to achieve with these workshops is to promote food literacy with the kids that we are working with. We are defining food literacy as the understanding the impact of food choices on health, the environment, and the  economy (Food Literacy Center, 2015). We are looking forward to using our insights from FNH 350 to analyze and study the effects of our workshops with these kids and in the community around the Gordon Community House. We would like to start by briefly introducing ourselves, our interests, as well as our relevant experiences with children and/or food and nutrition.

In charge of communications, we have Colleen Cassidy is a 4th year Food, Nutrition and Health student who has 10 years experience teaching dance to children ages 2-17. Colleen also has as well experience working at ‘Arts and Science’ camps. She is very passionate about food, and working with children.

Also in charge of communications, is Megan Barnett is a 3rd year Food, Nutrition and Health student. Megan started working with kids ages 6-15 years old as a counselor, an arts and crafts instructor, a rock climbing instructor, a lifeguard, and a kitchen assistant about seven years ago, at Camp Potlatch. During her time there, she worked with kids anywhere from 6-15 years old. At Camp Potlatch, Megan worked as a counselor, an arts and crafts instructor, a rock climbing instructor, a lifeguard, and a kitchen assistant. She is currently working at the UBC Aquatic Centre as a Lifeguard/Swim Instructor as well as a Day Camp Supervisor. She was interested in working on “Mythbusters for Kids” because she liked that it engaged children with food, and this was something she found very important.We decided to put two group members in charge of these blog posts, and these members are Maxine Somov and Zoe Schmidt.

Maxine and Zoe are both 3rd year Food, Nutrition and Health students, both interested in applying to the Dietetics program. Maxine has limited experience with children, but did work as a private tutor for a young lady with down syndrome throughout her high-school years. Maxine has extensive experience working in the nutrition field, and is currently sponsored by the natural supplement company “Total Body Health Co”. Maxine is a Bikini/Fitness competitor, who works with nutrition coaches to build diet plans and workout plans that will help her achieve her fitness goals. She won the overall award at her last competition and will be competing at the Provincial Championships for the second year in a row this July. She was interested in this community project because she is very passionate about food, and believes it is important to expose children to food science and nutrition at a young age.

Zoe is a certified lifeguard and swim instructor for kids of all ages, a gymnastics and summer camp coach for kids 6mo-7yrs, and is currently leading workshops for elementary school children through the program “Nutrikids”. Zoe has always found working with children to be fun and rewarding and is excited for what she will learn from this project.

Jamie Chun, who is also a 3rd year Food, Nutrition and Health student. Aside from currently working as a personal tutor for kids of all ages, she has many years of experience working with children at the Richmond Olympic Oval as a lead for rock climbing, skating, and other sporting events. She feels working on this community project will give her the opportunity to implement her direct studies in nutrition to positively influence for the kids. She also feels the experience will be very rewarding.

Finally, we have Marina Balic. Marina  who is a 3rd year student enrolled in the Dietetics program. Marina has previously been involved in “Nutrikids” and “Food for Thought”, as well as “Geering Up Science” and Engineering camps for kids, where she is able to work with a partner to plan, lead, and execute science/engineering related workshops with children all over the lower mainland, and including surrounding first nations communities. She chose this project because it is centered around improving children’s understanding and relationship with food – two topics she is very passionate about.

Although all of us have varying strengths and background, our team strives towards the common objective of promoting food literacy in the kids that we will be working with. We are working with a large number of children, of all ages and we have to all be on the same page, especially when leading the workshops. Outside of the workshops, this project requires a lot of work and insight from everyone on our team.  Our tasks will be delegated equally among the group members, with  Megan in charge of communications, Maxine and Zoe in charge of posting blogs, and all other members contributing equally to written assignments, editing, and providing constructive input. We all understand that this project will be almost impossible if we don’t all work together, communicate and carry our own weight. Although we will be delegating sections out to specific member to head, we will need input, insight and thought from everyone and that’s where the team work is required.

When Isabel, one of the coordinators at Gordon Community House, asked us why we chose the project, we all had very similar answers. We all wanted to pick a project where we were interacting with food, as well as with members of the community – face to face. Although other projects seemed interesting and valuable to communities and cities, this was one of the projects where we would actually be interacting with others. It was also a plus for our group that these members of the community happened to be kids. We all love working with children, and as you can see we all have quite an extensive amount of experience working with them. Through our past experiences, we found working with kids not only to be a comfortable choice, but one that we would find rewarding. Also, all of our  As a group, we can all relate to each other through our members are passionate for food and nutrition, and wanted to choose a project that reflected that. We all have healthy eating habits, and believe strongly in the importance of modeling and instilling these habits in children. We want to be advocates for healthy eating and community and believe the most effective way of doing this is to start with children!

During the first meeting with the coordinator at the Gordon Neighbourhood House we were familiarized with the details of our project. Such as, that the children are coming from Lord Roberts Elementary and Annex, a nearby school. The kids range in ages, starting at 5 to 10 years old – this is going to be challenging, as a team we are going to have to split up and engage all the kids according to their age. We are expected to lead a workshop where the kids can learn something new and be able to participate either in doing an experiment, making new recipes or learning new cooking technique. Isabel explained that our project was going to be different from other projects. She helped us became more familiar with not only the uncertainties of workshop planning, but those that come along with keeping children engaged. She emphasized that working with these kids, even if we prepare extensively, might not go as planned. We’re hoping to have plenty of backup activity options and to be flexible in order to best accommodate the learning needs of the children.

As a group we want to gain insight into a neighbourhood house. None of us have been to a neighbourhood house before and we’re excited to see the impacts that this home facility has on individuals and the community. We want to leave understanding the food security of this neighborhood house and of those that use the services at the facilityattend the home. We want to understand what the neighborhood house does to educate its members on healthy food choices especially the children. Overall we want to leave with a better understanding of the impact that this house has on its members in terms of food security and health. We are excited to work with these children who we learned today are almost all from single parent homes. We also want to see how these kids react and learn from the food science experiments we are going to be doing with them.

In accordance with Ernesto Sirolli’s TED Talk (2012); we want to be there as an aid to the neighborhood house. This can only be achieved by taking a step back and listening to their needs before trying to implement our own ideas. We met with members of Gordon neighborhood House’s Food Team, on Monday January 23, and did exactly that. We listened and asked as many questions as we could during the meeting. Our first impression of the neighborhood house was very welcoming, and we felt that our efforts and enthusiasm were truly appreciated. They need a group that is excited and passionate about food and kids to come in and have fun. To teach them, and to demonstrate cool food science experiments to the kids. We were advised not to waste any food, keep the kids busy, and to bring forth activities the kids haven’t done before in order to maximize what they get from the program we will soon put on! And we plan to do just that.

The Gordon Neighbourhood House also supports the strategy for asset-based community development. The neighbourhood house identifies and utilizes assets in the community like its space, gardens and donations to support and give back to the community that it is located in. It uses a needs-based approach to community development (Mathie & Cunningham, 2003) where the communities needs are met by using the assets from the individuals in the community. The Gordon Neighbourhood House also uses program-based solutions to support individuals in the community that live in; lower income housing, are single parents, or are lonely younger individuals that live in high density housing. The Gordon House provides after school care for children  and events where young people can come together and build communityconnect and all of it activities at low or no cost for those of lower income. All these qualities support those of asset-based community development.

Our objective for this project is to to promote food literacy in children by engaging them in food science, introducing new foods and new techniques as well as providing them with take home recipes that they can try on their own. We are also hoping to study and observe how these food literacy skills could be used in their own homes to promote food security in the neighborhood, As a team we are hoping to use our passion for children and our desire to be a contribution to the Gordon Neighbourhood House. We hope you enjoy this reading this blog as you follow us through this new experience.

References:

Mathie, A., & Cunningham, G. (2003). From clients to citizens: Asset-based Community Development as a strategy for community-driven development. Development in Practice, 13(5), 474–486.

Food Literacy Centre. (2015). What is Food Literacy? Retrieved from http://www.foodliteracycenter.org/what-food-literacy

Ernesto, S. (2012, November). Ernesto Sirolli: Want to help someone? Shut up and listen! [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chXsLtHqfdM