Students in health education class teach Girl Scouts about healthy eating

October 4, 2013

Future teachers in an Indiana State University health education class went off campus for several days this fall to provide lessons to young Girl Scouts.

Elementary education majors taught a variety of interactive health lessons to girls in grades 2 through 5 during a series of presentations at the Girl Scout Program Center in Terre Haute's Fairbanks Park.

"They all wanted to take part in the lesson, which made it easier and more comfortable for us. They were excited that they got to do something new," said Kelsey Koebel, a senior from Elkhart.

This is the first year that elementary education students are teaming up with the Girl Scouts of Terre Haute in order to gain hands-on experience in the real world. Lisa Borrero, assistant professor in the department of applied health sciences, requires her students to create health-related lesson plans and teach them to the Girl Scout members as a part of her course, "School Health for the Elementary School Teacher."

The students go over a variety of topics with the girls including physical activity, managing emotions, friendships, family health, hygiene/germs, and dental health, Borrero said.

"This is real world experience. It's hands-on with real children, it's absolutely invaluable. [Students get to] use the knowledge gained in their coursework and put it into practice, [as well as] work out the kinks for better practice in the future," she said.

This is important information for the Girl Scouts to receive because they are "starting to understand their place in the world. [It helps them] understand how they can begin to take accountability for aspects of their health," Borrero said.

Indiana State student Crissa Spratt a freshman from Indianapolis, went over de-stressing activities the scouts can use when needed, such as yoga and counting to 10. She included role play about bullying and how the girls should deal with such situations in a healthy way. She gave the scouts stress balls and instructed them to squeeze the ball whenever they feel angry.

"I think they took some good methods [away] on how to deal with stress," Spratt said. "I mainly enjoyed teaching them something they did not already know and tried to keep them interested in what we taught them. I really enjoyed doing this project because [when] the kids learn something new they react in such a way of amazement, and it really makes me feel good to think that I helped them learn something new."

Scout leaders, and scout mothers, believe that the information the girls learn is productive in teaching them valuable lessons learned outside of the school system.

For the scouts to "hear that other girls have stress and concerns about food, they don't worry [as much about themselves]," Scout leader and mother Kendra Gearld, said.While only a small number of Girl Scouts participated this year, Borrero hopes for a larger turnout in the future

"It's a pleasure as a faculty member to help facilitate in any way where my students can be of assistance in the community," she said. "When it deals with children, something about it is more special."

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Other/Media-Services/Media-events-and-press-confere/Girl-Scouts-and-Health/i-gVwZCDh/0/L/September%2026%2C%202013%20health%20education%20class%207218-L.jpg - Indiana State University elementary education students Kelsey Koebel (left) and Kalie Welling presented a program on healthy eating to a group of Girl Scouts as part of a health education class. (ISU/Rachel Keyes)

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Other/Media-Services/Media-events-and-press-confere/Girl-Scouts-and-Health/i-wrnm3GC/0/L/September%2026%2C%202013%20health%20education%20class%207272-L.jpg - Indiana State University student Kalie Welling, a sophomore elementary education major from Greenwood, works with Girl Scouts in preparing healthy snacks during a program on healthy eating at the Girl Scout Program Center in Terre Haute's Fairbanks Park. (ISU/Rachel Keyes)

Contact: Lisa Borrero, assistant professor of applied health sciences, College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services, Indiana State University, 812-237-3301 or lisa.borrero@indstate.edu

Writer: Sadie All, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3773 or sall@sycamores.indstate.edu