By Jamie Kennedy, CIP Brevard Center
Summer is in full swing at the Brevard Center! Despite the recent jungle-like heat in the south our students are showing greater Wellness awareness and application than ever before! Some of the healthy happenings around Brevard are: inception of a new cooking curriculum, more dynamic and personalized group sessions catered around individual skill-set, planning and training for our next 5k road race, and applying exercise and cooking cards in daily program areas to increase and improve speed, technique, and processing.
Students have set their exercise goals for the summer term and are sweating it out to build muscle and decrease body fat percentages. Several students in particular have made impressive gains in this area. Those are Ben Kesselhaut, Peter Snell, and Charlie Nielsen. Not only have these gentlemen become accomplished exercisers but they actively participated in the Health & Wellness Program’s monthly Receipt Raffle.
After grocery shopping, and after submitting their receipt to their advisor, these students submitted a copy of their receipt to Jamie, aka “The Sarge”, for further scrutiny. Time after time they made healthful, smart shopping choices and were eligible to win a gift card to Barnes & Noble. Ben, Peter, & Charlie are looking forward to June’s receipt raffle and the chance to win!
Assisting Brevard Center students with their grocery shopping decisions are several trips to local farmers markets to learn about locally grown, seasonal, fruits and vegetables. As part of the cooking curriculum students peruse and shop the stands during class. Encouraged to talk with growers, cooking class students quickly discover the art of hydroponics and the benefits of eating fruit and veggies that have not been stored below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (they are more flavorful!).
Back at the Center they are able to get their hands on textually diverse and unknown vegetables. Demonstration is given on how to cut a pomegranate or prepare an artichoke. Students also learn how to cut an avocado and have the opportunity to discuss Sensory Integration concepts while taste-testing fruits like spaghetti squash (baked), eggplant, and star fruit.
Evening and weekend activities during the cooler evenings are centered on group sports and have become a way for non-heat-seeking students to get outside. Working on fine and gross motor skills during a game of catch or incorporating cardio training during a game of football allows students the opportunity to break away from the computer and socialize with their peers. As many have discovered, it’s a great way to relieve stress!
If the outdoors is not what a student prefers there’s also planned trips to nearby gym facilities to provide detailed instruction on how and when each piece of equipment should be used. This especially applies to students who will be leaving in August and want to know how to continue their exercise regimen independently. Peter, who will be attending Florida Tech in August, was taken the Clemente Center and given a guided tour of the gym’s facilities and weight equipment, ensuring he knows how to be smart and effective in his workouts.
Students who want to dive-in to fitness this summer have the opportunity during group sessions to practice their swimming skills at a nearby swimming pool. While the heat bears down, our students are kicking it up a notch, proving that once again the Brevard Center is a hit for fit!