ACE kicks off the year with health and wellness

From cooking to exercising and staying safe during a pandemic, ACE kicked off January with health and wellness in mind. They hosted Kickstart your Healthy Lifestyle from January 25-28.

“ACE decided to host the ‘Kickstart Your Healthy Lifestyle’ series because we wanted our ACE parents to start the year off staying safe and healthy during a pandemic with tips, healthy recipes, and a good workout to get their blood pumping,” Vernon Middle School ACE Coordinator Martha Pina said. “Our goal was to provide our parents with as much information as possible and equip them with all the necessary supplies to stay safe and to learn how to eat healthy.”

Rodriguez Elementary ACE Coordinator Jennifer Turner served as moderator during the overnight oats and three-bean chili sessions.

“Thursday, they made overnight oats,” Turner said.  “We provided them with the oats, some syrup, some cinnamon, milk, and yogurt, and they mixed all that together. So, everybody was kind of adding their own likings. It was very neat to see the students come up with their own ideas. Even though we were on Zoom, it was nice to see everybody in their house and working together with family. I know I have enjoyed seeing these classes, and I have gotten a lot of feedback from parents and students that they are enjoying the sessions as well.”

Sharla Dillman and her son, Rylan Dillman, a first-grader from Rodriguez Elementary have been enjoying the ACE classes overall.

“We just moved to the Rodriguez campus, so this is his first year in it,” Sharla Dillman said. “He says I pick him up too early from ACE after school. He wants to stay longer. He just loves being able to use his mind creatively, and I think it really helps engage the kids in a different manner. Kids need to be around other kids. They learn from other kids. I think ACE really helps with that, even though they have social distancing.”

 Making the overnight oats was one of the Dillmans’ favorite activities from the Kickstart your Healthy Lifestyle series.

 “My son enjoys shaking things,” Sharla Dillman said. “I mean he is six years old, so he enjoyed the mixing part of the overnight oats. This class was quick and easy, and he was able to add all of his ingredients to the jar by himself.”

The Zoom sessions hosted 30 to 70 families per session. Sarahi Catache, a paraprofessional at Vernon Middle School taught the overnight oats class.

“It was remarkable seeing parents and their children work together as they created a healthy breakfast,” Catache said. “Having our sessions on Zoom is quite unique, but nonetheless it was a great experience. I was content, and I look forward to future events with our ACE families.”

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