Alameda County’s bilingual nutrition educator models effective adult education
Nelly Camacho conducting food demonstration
What Has ANR Done?Alameda County educators rely on interpersonal skills and instructional art to raise program graduation rates and bring about nutritional behavior change. These educators 1) deliver a curriculum that is science-based, language- and literacy-sensitive, family centered and user-friendly; 2) arrange class time and place so it is most convenient for parents of young children; 3) use the expertise of family advocates to recruit and organize; 4) create a positive environment using peer education techniques; 5) share personal food and nutrition stories; 6) keep the classroom interesting with hands-on activities; 7) demonstrate favorite recipes to teach about protein, vegetables, food safety; 8) are sensitive to personal needs like childcare; 9) plan next-class makeups for absences; 10) use appropriate music from countries of origin to acknowledge culture; 11) show appreciation to parents for their participation and contributions; and 12) make program graduation a very special occasion.
Nutrition educator achieves great success with monolingual parentsNutrition educators who conduct adult education in the community are uniquely positioned to model client-centered approaches to good nutrition. Bilingual educator Nelly Camacho of Alameda County has used a science-based curriculum to achieve high rates of program graduation and nutrition behavior change among poor, low-literate, monolingual populations. The 2006–2012 average graduation rate was 97.01 percent. Acceptable behaviors of 2011 graduates increased 74 percent in nutrition, 35 percent in money management, and 168 percent in food safety. For 2012, increases in acceptable behaviors were even higher.
Supporting Unit:Alameda County
Mary L. Blackburn, NFCS Advisor, UCCE Alameda County, (510) 639-1274