My latest rotation included working for two weeks with University of Maryland Extension, Food Supplement Nutrition Education (FSNE). It even reunited me with my internship partner Rory! FSNE is a nutrition education program designed to educate and help recipients of SNAP. FSNE sends nutrition educators to different sites across the state such as elementary schools and community centers to educate children and adults alike.
When working with schools and community centers during a snowy winter season, I learned to always remain flexible. During our two week rotation, several planned experiences were canceled due to inclement weather. Due to snow, ice, slush, and freezing rain, we were forced to switch gears and work from home. While working from home we were given assignments such as blog writing, creating themed Facebook posts, and website review of similar programs. I wrote a blog regarding added sugar in children’s diets and Facebook posts for the month of April; all of which will appear on the FSNE blog and Facebook page.
However, as the temperatures rose and the snow melted away, we were able to travel to different locations and join in on the fun! We traveled with different educators to sites in Frederick County, Gaithersburg, and Baltimore City. While in Frederick County we worked with fourth graders and adult mothers learning to speak and read English. In Gaithersburg we worked with first graders learning to think of seeds as suitcases for fruit; how cute! In Baltimore City we worked with both children and adults.
Whether working with children or adults, FSNE utilizes planned curricula developed specifically for nutrition education. Lesson plans cover topics anywhere from sustainability to eating more fruits and vegetables. We had the opportunity to both observe and co-teach lessons. Together Rory and I taught fourth graders about sustainability and living green with a tasting of green vegetables. We also co-taught a class of adults about eating the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables.
FSNE is a quick two week rotation. But, like I stated in a previous blog, quick does not mean the experience is not as valuable as others. Instead, it means you have limited time to maximize your experience. As an intern, you must show initiative and say yes to the opportunities presented. Only then, will you be able to take full advantage of your experience.
Working with children was fun and rewarding as was working with adults. I learned something different from each group. I learned even more from the educators. The two weeks I spent at FSNE was time well spent and a lesson well learned!