In this ongoing series, we’ll interview an Off the Front volunteer. Parents can get familiar with who is working with their children and where they may see this volunteer.
How did you get involved with off the front?
“When Mr. Mike started the program, I was fascinated by the concept and tried to help that year when he & Michele needed helpers at Susan B. I love the idea of helping kids grab the concept of eating healthy, exercising, and learning about food labels and what is best to eat. I helped with the Bike Ceremony at Susan B that year and was hooked. The next year, as they were able to expand to other schools, I signed up to assist in a school classroom, and I’ve been doing that since. I’ve also learned how to HELP put bikes together…which is fun.”
“10, I think! Six at Lowell and this is the fourth at West Fresno.”
What are you most looking forward to this year in the classroom?
“I love to see ‘the lightbulb moment’ when a child gains the understanding of a concept like eating ‘5 a day for better health’. These are lessons that can last throughout their life. I remember one specific time when we had been checking food labels and kids were encouraged to bring a label from home and ‘dissect’ it to see if it was something healthy for them. We had been encouraging kids to drink water, rather than sugary drinks. This young girl was very happy to share the label for the Vita-water she had convinced her Mom to buy so she could drink healthy. We took a look at the label to find that this “vitamin’ enhanced water, actually had more sugar and more calories than another students’ cola!!! Her eyes popped and she couldn’t wait to tell her mom…and NOT buy that again!
Last year was really difficult. I never really felt that I was getting the lessons across to the kids via virtual meetings. I was excited to be back IN the classroom this year, to be able to chat with the kids, actually put a name with a face, and interact with them during our lesson time.”
“My favorite thing is time with my grandchildren, but since they live far from us, that has been severely limited in the past two years.
I love to read, with a minimum of one book going, but often more, of different genres.
My husband and I love to travel and have been blessed to visit all over the world. When we can, we add ‘active travel’, so we’ve ridden bikes (usually a tandem) in Scotland, Toronto, along the California coast, in Maine, and next week, Charleston, SC, to Savannah, Georgia. We ride our tandem most mornings, which is really fun! I take tons of pictures wherever we are, then wonder how to organize them when we return.”