Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial engages kids in nutrition, wellness with fun virtual lessons
FREMONT, Mich., Feb. 15, 2021Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s community health team is turning to a fun, interactive online game-inspired program to keep K-5 students engaged in nutrition and wellness.
Gerber Memorial’s Coordinated Approach to Child Health, or CATCH, program is continuing to deliver simple lessons in healthy eating habits and physical activity even though students are learning remotely. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Gerber Memorial health educators were in classrooms, face-to-face, sharing brief lessons that they and teachers collaborated on to incorporate into students’ daily curriculum. Gerber Memorial’s CATCH program began in 2017 and now reaches more than 3,000 K-5 students in all five Newaygo County school districts.
With the pandemic forcing many schools across Michigan and in Newaygo County to use remote learning, Gerber Memorial Health Program Specialist Erica Jordan said the team turned to online solutions that local schools were already deploying to be part of the educational outreach to student.
“We knew in the summer that the academic year ahead would be like no other and would require an innovative approach that continued to engage youth in a fun, engaging and safe manner,” Jordan said.
A game-based learning platform, Newaygo County teachers and Gerber Memorial’s health team are using Kahoot to provide virtual health education.
To get a sneak peek, Kahoot can be viewed at:
Students will be asked questions, with multiple choice answers related to what they have learned about nutrition, food and wellness. Questions include: “Which 2 food groups did we learn about during our last lesson?” and “Which meal is the most important meal of the day?”
The Kahoot challenge also includes a read-along section for students. Jordan said one of the books the team chose, “Sneaky Spinach: A Children’s Book,” was especially appropriate: A boy who hates vegetables and prefers unhealthy foods learns that spinach has been sneaking its way into his food. The author, Alexis Schulze, not only encouraged the team to read her book, but she also donated 100 copies of the book to share with students.
“This kind gesture and generous donation is much appreciated and a reassuring reminder that we truly are in this together,” Jordan said. “We want to extend a very special thank-you to Alexis Schulze, author of one of our very favorite books, Sneaky Spinach!”
To learn more about Gerber Memorial’s CATCH program: