Before working at the YMCA, I worked for a non-profit organization called Greater Fall River Recreation. One of their after school programs was specifically for elementary school students called Health Eating Active Time (HEAT) Club. This program focused on educating students ages 9-10 years old how to eat healthy and be active. My colleagues and I would alternate between two different elementary schools for the after school program.
As student-teachers, it was our responsibility to create lesson plans where the mastery objective was for students to learn why it is important to eat healthy, understand the pros and cons of not being healthy and active, learn how to create fun healthy snacks, and play active games outside. On a team of four other student-teachers we would rotate between leading the activities. At the end of the program, we would give each other feedback to improve our leadership skills.
One of the challenges of this program was trying to engage students who have no interest in the subject of health to participate. One way to overcome this barrier is to involve the students what they were interested in doing. Whether it was involving their interests while incorporating our curriculum. For example, one student wanted to combine her interest of art into the program. And so, we took all interests into consideration based on knowing our students and incorporated their interests and our curriculum as one.