As a Marketing Intern for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, I was blessed with the opportunity to visit one of our Kids Cafe programs at the Skyline Urban Mission. I genuinely enjoyed the time I spent with the children and staff during my visit.
I learned about the techniques they use in educating children on how to have a healthy lifestyle. Areas of focus in achieving this goal are: identifying healthy food choices, learning the food pyramid and hands-on preparation of meals and snacks. This program also provides additional support for children through mentoring, tutoring and one-on-one relationships. Kids Cafe stimulates character development, social interactions, proper manners and conflict resolution for the children. They use innovative methods to actively involve the children through arts and crafts, outdoor activities and cognitive development. The best part about programs like these is the experiences that the children have, in addition to the relationships developed.
When an evaluation was done on the effectiveness of the Kids Cafe program, it revealed many positive results. Both parents and children were asked how the program benefited them. The results were as follows:
- 91 percent of the children said to have learned more about healthy foods
- 93 percent of the parents witnessed behavioral improvements in their children
- 80 percent of the children had grade improvements
- 98 percent said they met adults or older kids that respected them through the program
Through my own experience at the Skyline Urban Mission, and the results of the children involved, I believe this program is truly remarkable and beneficial for the children. I feel so lucky to have had the chance to experience the Kids Cafe first hand.
Making a difference in my community has been something I strive to accomplish every day. Random acts of kindnesscreate a positive flow of energy to the people around me. A quote that has helped inspire me throughout my ongoing journey says, “You must BE the change you wish to see in the world” – Ghandi. I believe that realizing there is a need is the first step in addressing a problem. I try to become the light of positivity, providing others with the encouragement that they might need. One person can make a huge difference in the lives of others by doing some of the simplest things.
What about ways you can touch the lives of others during your daily routines? I have provided a small list of things that we all can start with today!
- Smile. It will astound you in the amount of those who will smile back.
- Let someone ahead of you in the checkout line, even if they have more than 10 items.
- Compliment a stranger.
- Look at the person speaking to you instead of the cell phone. The text will wait, but that connection of one-to-one could be missed.
- Open the door for someone
I have enjoyed sharing a few thoughts with you today. Ideas we all know, but due to the hectic lives we live, sometimes forget. Remember, it all starts with a smile!