In the Fall of 2013 a team of students in LIB322: “Wicked Problems of Sustainability” at Grand Valley State University created “Fresh Start,” an afterschool program centered on teaching middle school students healthy eating habits. The values and initiatives demonstrated by “Fresh Start” persuaded us – a team of LIB322 students from the Winter of 2014 – to further their initial efforts. Our team, “Fresh(er) Start,” thus sought to develop and refine an interactive afterschool program for elementary school children within the local community. Working with children while they are young is crucial to their future dietary practices. Biopsychologist Julie Mennella (2013) of the Monell Center states, “the preferences (children) form during the first years of life actually predict what they’ll eat later.” As people age, their eating habits become more difficult to adjust. If we can help children learn the importance of nutrition, they are more likely to lead healthy adult lives as well (Wartman, 2013). To this end, we suggest a twelve-week afterschool program focusing closely on the importance of healthy, sustainable living. Education through the use of interactive and collaborative lessons will help children in our community become more involved and interested in their nutrition. These lessons will cover a wide variety of subjects ranging from cooking, to gardening, as well as the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Carlson, Michael; Macko, Andrijka; and Richter, Katie, "Fresher Start Team Project Analysis" (2014). LIB 322: Wicked Problems of Sustainability. 7.