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HS Del Valle PhotoMy name is Benton Ferguson and I am a volunteer for HealthStart. I am 20 years old and have studied child development and music education at the University of North Texas. As an advocate for alternative education, I became interested in HealthStart and started volunteering at the beginning of 2014. Aside from blogging, I helping connect HealthStart with homeschool families and current classrooms to promote our curriculum and healthy message.

I recently had the opportunity to visit a HEY! classroom at the Del Valle Child Development Center.   This particular classroom of four year olds had just learned about how dirt affects their health. When asked about why dirt is important, the kids had quick responses like, “It’s where plants come from.” and “My food grows from dirt.” One child exclaimed “It’s where pizza comes from!” While that may not entirely be correct, all of the children understood that the food they eat depends on the ground beneath them.

I believe it is a rare sight to see children today questioning what they are eating and where it comes from; seeing these kids talk with one another about different kinds of dirt and soil was almost surreal.

The kids filled plastic bottles  with dirt from their backyard and water to demonstrate that “dirt” isn’t just one substance–the children saw crystals, insects, sand, and they realized how complex even the ground beneath us is. I was amazed at how well these kids retained the information taught to them, and the enthusiasm they showed was intense!

HS Water Bottles

After the kids got on with their daily activities, I had a chance to speak with the teacher and asked what she thought about the curriculum. She praised its engaging activities and real-world lessons, and she was also impressed with how strongly the kids remembered the information. I believe they will carry the knowledge they learned in this classroom with them forever and from it, be able to make healthy life choices.

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