Education

Nutrition Fair provides dose of education for all kinds of students

Ryan Lupo, 7, hangs a food in the grains category on his plate during a nutritional fair hosted by Penn State nutritional science students at Ferguson Township Elementary on Tuesday.
Ryan Lupo, 7, hangs a food in the grains category on his plate during a nutritional fair hosted by Penn State nutritional science students at Ferguson Township Elementary on Tuesday. adrey@centredaily.com

Increasing engagement and education is one of the missions of the Community Education Extended Learning program at the State College Area School District.

CEEL is an after-school program through the Community Education department designed to bring extended learning opportunities to State College Area youth.

But on Tuesday afternoon, an event held during the CEEL program at Ferguson Township Elementary School provided a chance to also educate an older group of students.

In Partnership with Penn State nutrition students, a Health and Nutrition Fair was held. It allowed about 55 kindergarten to fifth-graders to get insight about what’s in food, and where it comes from.

At the same time, it gave about 55 Penn State students in a nutrition 456 class real-world experience to teach nutrition at a community level.

Booths set up by the Penn State students offered interactive lessons on a variety of nutrition topics.

“We’re really invested in student engagement and education, but this is especially important,” said Lindsey Younkins, CEEL program supervisor at Ferguson Elementary. “There are no formal health classes until middle or high school.”

She said program administrators teamed up with assistant professor Jennifer Savage Williams.

As part of Earth Day least year, Penn State students held a similar nutrition fair during the regular school day at Ferguson Township Elementary.

The goal this year was to extend it into the CEEL program.

“What we have is just a really good partnership, and a good collaboration that’s really mutually beneficial,” Younkins said.

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo

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