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Monday, January 12, 2015

Introducing winter SCORES: An emphasis on healthy living

It feels like just yesterday students were on stage at the Poetry Slam! finishing the fall DC SCORES season with one brilliant performance after another. Yes, the break was short. Today, programming is back!

Our scaled-down winter nutrition and soccer program begins at eight DC public schools this afternoon -- Bancroft, Thomson, Marie Reed and Seaton elementary schools; Brightwood Education Campus (elementary); and Johnson, Hart and Lincoln middle schools.

During the next six weeks, students will learn that what they put into their bodies affects their performance on the soccer field. They will directly go through this process by preparing healthy snacks for themselves and then seeing how much better they feel during multi-school soccer clinics.

The winter season leads up to the spring DC SCORES season at 40-plus schools, which kicks off March 16.

For an inside look at what happens during the winter, we caught up with Writing Coordinator Rachel Klepper, who has coached the winter 'Power of Choice' curriculum at Thomson Elementary School. You can also get a sense of the program from the video above.


What are the main objectives of winter SCORES for the kids involved?

RK: The goal of winter SCORES is to get kids thinking about how they can make healthy choices in their everyday lives. We want to teach them the background and skills to understand the way that what they eat and drink affects their health. In winter SCORES they also have the chance to improve their soccer skills with regular soccer practices and clinics.

Nutrition is such a difficult topic to tackle with kids. How do you make it fun to eat healthy?

RK; It's really natural to talk about nutrition in DC SCORES, because everyone wants to become a better soccer player. One way we discuss nutrition is by showing how healthy eating helps them to play better. We also make nutrition fun by including lots of hands-on activities. The kids love getting to test out new recipes that include healthy ingredients such as whole wheat bread, fruits and vegetables.

Give us an example of a nutrition lesson you've found effective in past years?

RK: One lesson that's really effective is a lesson about soda. Students measure out the amount of sugar in a bottle of soda, and they are always amazed! When you see a bottle in front of you, it's hard to realize how much sugar is hiding in it. Most students leave the class excited to share what they saw with family and friends, and to cut down on the amount of soda they drink.

What's one of kids' favorite snacks to take home with them and tell their families about?

RK: Last year my class voted on their favorite snack, and the winner was turkey pocket sandwiches. They took whole wheat pita bread and stuffed it with turkey slices, lettuce, tomato, and low fat salad dressing.

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