The March 3rd event on Healthy Minds and Healthy Bodies was a total hit! The action-packed day began with greetings and a follow-up discussion of the University of Mary Washington tour. Our mentor, Amrit, offered a soothing Yoga session to center ourselves for calm alertness. We then transitioned to the kitchen classroom where we were met by the fantastic Meriwether Godsey culinary and nutrition education team. Robin Menard (director of dining at Sidwell Friends School), Gerardo Marzariegos (dining service manager at Seed School of DC), Sarah Barge (registered dietician) and Rebecca Cunningham, Executive Chef, Sidwell Friends School) presented information and handouts on the importance of nutrients, balancing carbohydrates, protein and fat, and portion control. We reviewed how to read labels on food packaging. That led into some activities on sugary beverages and how to find true whole grain food products and healthy fruits and vegetables.
The students were taught how to prepare delicious super food sandwich wraps, black bean corn and orzo salad, and fruity yogurt parfaits. The best part was eating our sumptuous meals together. One student even made a meal for his mom to show her his new skills, and another student prepared a to-go package for an Academy student who was unable to attend, but who had called to ask if she could still share in the meal later at her home. Such caring actions are typical of our wonderful students. We all fell in love with the MG team and didn’t want them to leave without hugs and huge thanks for all they did to make our day so wonderful! We hope we can have them back with us again soon!
The students got their first viewing of the videos that our mentor, Jim, has put together to capture all that we have done during our monthly experiences. We look forward to sharing them with others soon. This was followed by a short but delightful visit with some tiny rescue puppies (teacup Chihuahuas) that my husband and I are fostering. The students lovingly held them and gave them a chance to romp and play in the circle of students. We then played a review game testing ourselves on the curricular objectives we had covered so far this year. Laura and Karla from Capital One took over and the four teams merged to form two new teams that engaged in a highly complex and tremendously fun basketball game that reviewed finance literacy questions as part of the ball game.
Toward the end of the day, students gathered in small discussion groups with their mentors to give their ideas about teamwork strategies and to also offer feedback on the Academy’s activities- past, present and future. They rejoined into a large group and presented their ideas on how we can work to make the Academy even better and aligned to their needs and hopes.
The day ended with wonderful Michael Boudreau leading everyone through Tai Chi, followed by journal writing and quiet socializing while everyone waited for their rides. Based on the journal entries, it definitely appears that this event was one the best we have ever had. We are so proud of the observable growth we are seeing in our young scholars and we can hardly wait until our next event on April 14th. Please know we welcome all of our friends and supporters to join us for any of our activities. The more the merrier when it comes to helping our young people succeed!