|Vicky Pozos and Deonte McClure teaching "What You Drink, What You Think" |
at Pajaro Valley High School in Watsonville
Last Wednesday me, Vicky Pozos, and my partner Deonte McClure rolled out to Pajaro Valley High School in Watsonville to kick start the Community Educator Fall job. We arrived to Mr. Bentley's room nervous, but ready to present the "What you think, what you drink: Youth Dollar Power" workshop.
First, we started off the workshop with a quick ice breaker of Toe-to-Toe. In this game we called out a body part and the students connected that body part, like elbow to elbow, to another students. Then we asked a question like, “Would you live in the bottom of the ocean or on the moon?”. Then they discuss the question with their partner. Since they were freshman, there was some cootie moments. It was a good game to wake up the kids and get rid of those few butterflies we had.
We started off the workshop with a quick brain storm on what processed sugar does to your body. Every class hit those key points, showing them that they already know about sugar. We then examined a nutrition label of an Arizona. When asked how many grams of sugar in an Arizona many students said 13 grams, but they were forgetting one crucial part of the math. They were forgetting to look at the number of servings. Once we got the equation of finding the total number of scoops we invited two volunteers to help us find the total number of scoops of sugar and to scoop the sugar into a cup. We then compared by volume how much of the Coca-Cola, Monster and Juice Squeeze is pure processed sugar. Many students were shocked to see that almost half the Coca-Cola by volume was pure processed sugar. Deonte also pointed out that you can make Coca-Cola and Monster at home if you have carbonated water, sugar and a few chemicals/dyes. It wouldn't taste the same, but it's possible to make them at home. (Even though it is not recommend to make at home). We went through every drink discovering that the first three ingredients in the Coca-Cola and Monster where carbonated water and SUGAR! Many students were surprised by the amount of sugar in each drink.
We wrapped up the workshop by asking the students, how many of you vote? Many students were confused by what I meant by vote. Many said, “like in elections?” Others said, “like for the Kids Choice Awards on tv?” A few raised their hands because of this reason, but in reality ever single youth should have raised their hand because every single one of them vote everyday. They vote with their dollar. Every time anyone buys anything you are voting for what that product represents whether it's good for your body or not. Your saying yes I support you. An example is Arizona. Many people around the world buy it, but what would happen if everybody stop buying them over night?.......Right, the company would go out of business. The youth have a vote with their money, their vote is their power.
We wrapped up each class with a taste sample of some Juice Squeeze. Many students liked Juice Squeeze and a few said they would buy it instead of the other sugary drinks. It was a great day and a great start to the Community Educator Fall job. We gained confidence in presenting this workshop to youth in Santa Cruz County and teaching them about Food Justice.