This winter, DC SCORES intern Kara Dunford is spending her afternoons at Bancroft Elementary School as the Bengals take part in Winter SCORES. Each week, Kara is writing about her experience observing and interacting with the students as they learn about nutrition and healthy eating habits through the Power of Choice curriculum. You can also follow Kara’s observations on Twitter and Instagram by searching #WinterSCORES. View photos on Flickr.
Written by Kara Dunford
Coach Guzman stood at the front of the Bancroft Elementary School classroom, ready to address his DC SCORES team.
“I wanted to let you all know that this is our last nutrition class.” He paused briefly. “So I brought tissues in case you need them.”
Guzman held up a box of tissues and the students laughed.
Tissues weren’t needed as the Bengals wrapped up Winter SCORES by embracing their new tools for a healthy and active lifestyle.
On my last day with the Bengals, I had the opportunity to chat with a number of the students about their thoughts on the six-week winter program.
In our conversations, it was clear that the Bengals had soaked up a great deal of the information and were excited to put it into practice in their own lives.
A number of students pledged to decrease their intake of junk food and soda, turning instead to fruits and vegetables.
The last day of nutrition programming was set up to help students take the lessons learned from theory to practice. The coaches provided a variety of healthy snack items, including various fruits, yogurt, and cheese, for students to try and determine which they liked best, with the goal of making these snacks part of their healthy routines.
It was fun to see students who were hesitant at first about trying new foods embrace the opportunity and discover new favorite snacks.
In my conversation with fifth-grader Tatiana B., I learned how she was planning to add healthy items -- including salads, carrots and apples -- into her eating routine. She said she was surprised by how much she learned this winter, noting that her favorite lesson taught her about healthy alternatives to soda.
It was the end of our conversation, though, that stuck with me the most.
I asked Tatiana why she thought it was important to implement the lessons of Winter SCORES into her own lifestyle. She paused for a moment, and then smiled.
“To make ourselves proud.”
By providing the students with the tools and information they need to live a healthy and active life, Winter SCORES also instilled a sense of self-confidence in the Bengals. It was incredible to see the progress Tatiana and her classmates made over the course of the season, initially participating begrudgingly but soon embracing each lesson enthusiastically.
After a jam-packed winter season, I’m excited to see what the spring brings.
Check out the video to hear the Bengals’ thoughts on Winter SCORES. Continue to follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as we gear up for the spring.