The theme for this year’s summit, which ran from April 16th-April 18th in New Haven, was Local Food. For the three days we focused on the benefits of local food and eating healthy following our Kid’s Explore, Kids Do, Kids Teach program model.
We spent day 1 of the Youth Summit at Edgerton Park, where youth were split into groups and rotated through four different stations. At station one, Stewards sang a song about the food pyramid and local food. They also played a tag game to learn about the different nutrients that we get from the different food groups. At station 2, youth took part in a play which demonstrated how a tomato is grown and the benefits of eating local foods in season rather than those that comes from far away. Youth learned many food fun facts at the Food Jeopardy Game at station 3, and at station 4 they then traveled through the cycle of a hamburger while playing a relay game. Kids discussed the energy required to produce the meat and also the water to grow the lettuce and tomato. All the groups came together after completing all the stations to participate in a Food Group Relay, in which teams divided different fake foods into bins (labeled with the food groups) then gathered to see what they had learned!
Left to right: Steward Asinya and his team, learning the life cycle of a hamburger through relay races!; Local Food Jeopardy with Educators Shakila and Dominique; Curtisy, enjoying the number of trees in Edgerton Park
Day 2 brought Stewards to West Haven Beach, where they completed a major clean-up of a mile stretch of beach. Youth made connections between beach and ocean health and the different ways that humans use the ocean as a source of local food, as many people fish from the Long Island Sound. We then went to the Peabody Museum where youth explored the "Big Food" exhibit, which showed the health, culture and evolution of food. There were also several activity stations at the Peabody that focused on healthy decision-making.
Left to right: Keharra, exploring near the water; Intern Rigo helping Stewards pick up trash along West Haven Beach; Sofia getting serious about healthy choices at the Peabody's "Big Food" exhibit!
We started day 3 at the West River Neighborhood Park, where youth played a number of large group games. Stewards then completed a short urban hike to the Yale African American Cultural Center, counting the number of local restaurants they spotted along the way. At the AfAm Cultural Center, youth were split into groups in which they made posters to reflect on, and teach others about, what they had learned during the summit. They then presented their posters to their peers, Interns, and Educators. The day was finished with an ice cream sundae celebration (with local ice cream from Ashley’s New Haven!) to congratulate Stewards for their hard work over the summit.
Left to right: Citycology friends playing teambuilding games; At the African American Cultural Center, creating posters about everything learned during the summit; Presenting at the mini Public Education Forum!
See more photos of the Youth Summit HERE!