Guenther and Nacke learning how to make Tortillas from students
Nasrin Nawa |
July 14, 2023
Through their summer school, a group of elementary school students at Schuyler Public Schools, in Colfax County, participated in Nebraska Extension’s Growing Healthy Habits classes and were shocked to discover that Beth Nacke and Hannah Guenther, their teachers, had never made homemade tortillas. Their conversation led to a discussion about food from different countries, which formed the basis of the cultural exchange.
Guenther, a Food, Nutrition, and Health Extension Educator in Cuming County said she was "getting cheered on "for her tortilla skills" when learning from students. "I felt I learned more than they did. It was by far the most rewarding extension program I have done in Extension."
Growing Together Nebraska, a SNAP-Ed funded donation garden project that increases food and nutrition security and promotes healthy food access for families and individuals who are food insecure, uses the Growing Healthy Habits curriculum for school-aged students, which includes hands-on activities and lessons focused on using the garden to teach about nutrition and increase physical activity.
During their time with Schuyler's 4th and 5th-grade students, both Guenther and Nacke had unique and interesting experiences. It was as if they sat in the students' chairs and the students became the teachers.
As Guenther further explained, "When we started talking about tortillas, it spiraled into what the kids make at home. It was so much fun that the gloves came off. As an example, they asked if we made Possolle and even corrected us on how to pronounce it. My favorite part was when we got a good one, they were like, ‘Woooow, that's a good one!’"
“It helped them appreciate each other more; they discovered that there are differences in what they make at home, but also some similarities," Nacke said. Putting the ball in the kids' court, Guenther thinks, "made them feel proud about talking about their food."
Growing Together Nebraska (GTN) is a SNAP-Ed-funded donation garden project that promotes healthy food access and increases food security for food-insecure individuals and families. The program engages Extension Master Gardeners, local community organizations, and volunteers to build and manage donation gardens so that people have access to affordable, healthy, and safe foods. Nebraska's efforts feed into a larger Growing Together multi-state (Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Wtoming and Wisconsin) SNAP-Ed collaborative project.
Click here to learn more about Growing Together Nebraska program.