MAKING A DIFFERENCE NEWSLETTER - Issue 1, Vol 17 (Jan. 2017) Issue 1, Volume 17 (Jan. 2017) - Page 9

Summer Enrichment Program:

Health Rocks

Fralonda Anderson-Aubrey, Urban Youth Development Agent, and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service partnered with two Houston Parks and Recreation- Community Centers to provide students enrolled in the Summer Enrichment Program a series of nutrition and health sessions titled "Health Rocks." Students, ages 6 to 13 years old, attending Proctor Plaza Community Center and Candlelight Community Center engaged in interactive activities to improve food and beverage decision-making skills, building well-balanced nutritious plates, food safety practices, and develop cooking skills.

Lessons were designed to accommodate the knowledge level of all students. Even though lessons were structured to teach health, nutrition, and wellness; students were also able to practice skills in public-speaking, teamwork, and problem-solving. The Health Rocks curriculum states, “Developing life skills such as communicating with others, managing change, and making positive decisions, helps youth develop internal strength to decrease poor food selections and low self-esteem. This summer program has helped prepare students with knowledge and skills to make healthier choices nutritionally as they embark on a new school year.

Agricultural Immersion Tour

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21 Cristo Rey Advance Placement (AP) Environmental Health Students participated in the Finca Tres Robles, Agricultural Immersion Tour. Farm owner, Mr. Thomas Garcia-Prat began the day with a walking tour of the two year old farm. Mr. Garcia-Prats explained how the farm operates on a daily basis and provided a wealth of information about the farm’s set-up, composting and soil prep, plant selections, and organic vs. non-organic farming.

Students engaged in weeding, prepping seedlings, sifting compost, and planting sweet potato seedlings. Students also harvested produce to prepare black bean and kale salad consisting of fresh kale, beets, sweet pepper, green onion, cucumber, tomatoes, and black bean. Lunch was fresh, nutritious, and delicious. Farm engineer, Daniel Garcia-Prats provided a presentation on agri-business and economics as it relates to functions of farming. Students also engaged in discussions on food deserts in urban areas and ways to enhance sustainability for urban communities.

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5 Harris County Sustainable Communities Project participants attended the District 9 4-H Leadership Adventure Camp in Galveston, TX this summer. Leadership Adventure is a district-wide camp to prepare over 100 4-her’s throughout the southeast region with skills to lead and guide their 4-H clubs. During the camp 4-H members engaged in interactive team-building activities to help students practice communication and problem-solving skills. Activities included card board box boat building, beach sand castle building, and a community service project at the exciting Moody Garden Pyramids. District 9 4-H Council Elections were also held. Fellow 4-hers were able to hear candidate speeches and vote for the 2016-2017 4-H District 9 Officers.

Harris County students networked with senior 4-H members and gathered helpful material to assist with building strong 4-H programs at Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School and Mickey Leland College Preparatory School for Young Men. We look forward to see our Harris County leaders take action this upcoming 4-H year!

Sustainable Communities Project