Some preschoolers in Glastonbury are doing more than just finger-painting: They’re learning adult nutrition and fitness habits, all thanks to an award-winning teacher.
Glastonbury native and 2014 Goddard Teacher of the Year Maureen Moore has created a fitness, nutrition, and education program for students at her school.
“From the kids learning about colors and shapes and how many scoops of blueberries they can have in their fruit salad, to fine motor skills, cutting the banana, peeling the orange – it’s from math to fine motor; they’re just learning so many things from one simple activity,” Moore explained.
Beyond cognitive development, the program helps shape eating behaviors that “Miss Mo” hopes will last long into her students’ adult years.
“It is a lot easier to go grab a bag of chips, but I want to instill the values of, ‘You can grab an orange, you can grab a banana.’ And I want them to love it just as much,” added Moore.
These preschoolers don’t just eat healthy food, they grow it in their Community Garden.
“They learn so much from how to tend to a plant, how to plant the cycle, how they need rain, how they need to care for it,” said Moore.
But kids will be kids, so playtime is never too far behind.
“Whether it was a yoga movement, whether it was throwing a ball overhand, it’s all specific skills that would get them moving, get them outside instead of just sitting, from a young age all the way until an older age,” said Goddard School Director Mary Popick.
Moore beat out 10,000 other Goddard School teachers nationwide for the Teacher of the Year award.