HealthCorps Professional Development Training Week a home run!
During the week of January 27th, first and second year coordinators gathered in New York City for a week filled with education, fitness and cooking experiences, presentations from HealthCorps board members and staff, and some special events.
Highlights included a surprise visit from Dr. Oz, who offered inspiration and answered spontaneous questions from the coordinators; a school wellness panel discussion with panel members including Sal Valenza, Food District Head from the School District at West New York, Jean MacTavish, Principal of West Side High School (where the professional development activities took place), and Geri Wurman, Healthy Schools Program manager for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Another special moment was the New York City premier of The Heart of the Matter at the Scholastic Worldwide Headquarters and Editorial Office in New York City .
First year coordinators had a full day of Teen Battle Chef activities with Family Cook Productions, led by Lynn Fredericks and Chef Elliott. Recipes prepared that day included Risotto and Spring Rolls, Mussels, Kale salad and Pear Crisp, Thai Fish Chowder and Jambalaya, with two head-to-head recipe battles. Lessons included: knife skills, nutrition basics, food safety and culinary terms.
Some take away messages from the week:
Shawn Hayes, PH.D., Chief Academic Officer – “Your role as a coordinator is to provide evidence that shows the efficacy of the (HealthCorps) program…but also to be a leader in thoughtful approaches to behavioral changes.”
Michelle Bouchard, President of HealthCorps – “Our task is to make people realize the immediacy of the problem (teen obesity) which seems to be a challenge, despite alarming statistics…….Hunger seems to beat out obesity when we ask for support…when they look at a hungry child, they see a victim, (but) when they look at an obese child they think, he did that to himself……We need to show the impact of our program and the legacy and payoff…..”
Anthony Meyer, President of Ocean Road Advisors, Inc., and a member of the Board of Directors – “Glow and Grow…..Glow are the coordinators who mentor the students and provide support and creative lessons to advance a student’s knowledge of nutrition, fitness, mental resilience…..Grow is the education model that works with full time coordinators on staff at High schools nationwide and with the future HealthCorps University (HCU) model that will allow schools that don’t have access to coordinators to implement our program.”
Dr. Mehmet Oz – “Mentoring is key, and HealthCorps does it brilliantly…..What’s unique about our coordinators is their malleability and willingness to meet people (teens) where they are (in their journey to better health)….Make the story and experience less about weight and more about the ‘can I make you care about yourself’ message…Coordinators are tasked with creating a brave new world.”
The coordinators left at the end of the week, returning to their respective schools mentally uplifted, feeling motivated and inspired to continue to educate and mentor their students and make a difference.