Service Learning with the Children’s Discovery Museum of West Virginia
For the second Saturday in the month of January, WVU’s Human Nutrition & Food undergraduates were staffed and participated in an event at the Children’s Discovery Museum of West Virginia, called “Free Play Saturday”. Free Play Saturday consists of 3 events in January, where the undergraduates, ISPP Dietetic Interns, and graduate students have demonstrations, activities, and displays for children and parent participants. The events are taking place the last 3 Saturdays this month and our table have themes for each event. Our three themes consist of:
- Crave Your FAV Rainbow
- Feed Your Brain, Go With Grain
- Sugar Shockers
Experiences like these are ideal service learning opportunities for students at every level. These events give students exposure to children of younger ages and also practice their community nutrition skills, away from campus-aged individuals.
At last Saturday’s event, “Feed Your Brain, Go With Grain” was the theme. We had different activities for the children participating:
– Small pieces of paper cut in the shape of slices of bread. Then, we had the children write, or write with the assistance of our volunteers, their favorite type of grains.
– Slices of different types of bread in small plastic bags, labeled. And the same slices of bread in plastic bags, numbered on the back. This was our version of a matching game. We instructed the children on matching the slices of bread to its matching mate.
– Small printed pictures of grains and an assortment of other (non-grain) food and/or beverages. Then we grouped the pictures in sets of 3. One picture was a grain and 2 pictures were not grain. Then we instructed the children to identify the grain in the group of pictures. This gave the children product and food identification of grains, hopefully to use later on with their parents in such places like grocery stores.
– Then, for all 3 “Free Play Saturday” events in the month of January, we have a tri-fold poster, made by a graduate student that identifies all three themes (“Crave Your FAV Rainbow”, Feed Your Brain, Go With Grain”, and “Sugar Shockers”)