July 2018 Update: Colorado Summer Fun!
June 2018 was a busy month in Colorado. We started the month by kicking off the program with new partner site, Foothills Park and Recreation. CO Division Director, Tami Anderson and her husband, Chef Mike led the activity which included introducing Healthy LifeStars’ The LifeStar Challenge program to parents and youth in attendance along with a cooking demo featuring two healthy summer salads, Island Mango Chicken Salad and Butterflies and Bows Pasta Salad. In addition to the program kick off, Tami & Chef Mike supported the program at Lily Gulch Recreation Center (Foothills Park and Recreation) through Cooking with Kids Classes during the S.T.E.A.M Summer Camp. The opening session included kids creating a foil packet dinner with vegetables, lean meats and cheese. During the breakfast session kids had the opportunity to make healthy breakfast burritos along with fruit & yogurt parfaits (sponsored by Foothills Parks and Recreation.
HLS also had the opportunity to partner with another new program partner, the Aurora YMCA. We trained 2 different teen groups, Leaders in Training and Summer of Service. Both groups of teens went through approximately 5 hours of training to learn the The LifeStar Challenge (TLC) program. These teens will be mobilized in July to teach the program to younger students at Aurora YMCA summer camps. While there were lots of learnings the best part was seeing the youth practice putting it all together for when they take it out in July to the younger kids! Involving teens in the advancement and growth of TLC serves a variety of purposes: Peer to peer, younger kids may be more motivated and empowered to follow teen role models; Teens gain and develop new skills (they may tap into skills they never knew they had!); Learn more about importance of healthy eating, physical activity, goal setting, creating healthy habits; and provides opportunities for social emotional development. The leadership at Aurora YMCA and HLS believe this is a win-win for both organizations. Our goal is to continue to build on this model and expand to after-school based teen leader programs within the YMCA and other youth-based organizations.