Head Start families take nutrition-focused field trips to UOG

Head Start families take nutrition-focused field trips to UOG

Head Start families take nutrition-focused field trips to UOG


Pre-school children in the Head Start Program at the Guam Department of Education are getting an early introduction to STEM and to the importance of health, nutrition, and physical activity through a partnership with the Cooperative Extension & Outreach service at the University of Guam. 

The community nutrition extension team started hosting Head Start field trips to the UOG campus in 2018 and is relaunching the field trips for the first time since the pandemic. By the end of this semester, the program will have hosted Head Start programs from nine elementary schools, totaling 120 Head Start children and 80 parents/guardians and teachers.

Photo of three girls preparing a healthy snackThe Head Start Program is meant to promote school preparedness among children ages 3 to 5 from low-income families through activities that enhance their cognitive, social, and emotional development.

During their three-hour field trips to UOG, they rotate to the different extension programs learning how to make healthy snacks, exploring the sugar content of common drinks and snacks, engaging in science experiments with 4-H, and learning various other life skills and physical activities.

This initial engagement introduces families to additional free resources and learning opportunities they can avail of through UOG Extension’s Expanded Food & Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and SNAP-Ed Program. EFNEP is a federal nutrition education program that aims to educate low-income populations on how to plan, shop for, and cook healthy meals, stretch their food dollars farther, handle food safely in the kitchen, and increase their physical activity levels, while SNAP-Ed helps families learn to make the best use of their SNAP benefits. These programs are mobile, bringing the classes and trainings to accessible locations.

The Head Start field trips will continue in the 2024-2025 school year. Schools interested in participating can contact Rynette Perez, assistant coordinator of the UOG Community Nutrition Education Program, at (671) 735-2024 or perezrc@triton.uog.edu.