Every week, each team would meet for 4 hours with the Project Manager to review and evaluate last week's event, for 7 1/2 hours with their Team Leader to work on their presentation for the next week (which included 4 hours working on their routine for the Performance Team), for 1 hour with their MSYEP Counselor to learn about employment and workplace topics, for 2 hours to learn salsa dancing, and for 5 1/2 hours at Salsa In The Park to teach salsa dancing, nutrition, and environmentalism to the community. Here's a quick summary of what we did each week this summer, including all the games, handouts, and signs we made!
Everyone met this week for an Orientation, to learn more about the MetaMovements organization, the Salsa4Health program, and the Move4Health and Salsa In The park summer projects. We had our first salsa lesson at the Dance Complex with Danielle, which involved a lot of fun trust games. We then headed down to our first Salsa In The Park, to see this event in action.
We learned how to set up the dance floors, which require a fair amount of coordination and stomping
We met again later in the week to get an introduction to public health in general, and health promotion specifically. We had a great conversation as we connected the dots across the multiple disciplines of public health, and got ourselves fired up about our own health promotion project.
We launched things off by conducting a Needs Assessment of our target population - the South End community. We looked up statistics on the CDC webpage, and began to get a better picture of the people living in this neighborhood, and of how we could attempt to make a positive impact in the community. Each team decided to focus on one key aspect of their overall goals in order to both get something at our first SITP right away, as well as to test out our method on just one thing at a time.
The Nutrition Team addressed water consumption, by making a big poster featuring nutritional facts of water and other beverages, as well as with a small "Did you know?" flyer to hand out to attendees.
The Environmental Team highlighted recycling by making a sign that showed all the things you can recycle, in addition to a fact sheet available for attendees to take home. The Environmental Team also had a recycling sorting game for everyone to play where participants had to identify which items in a typical trash bin were recyclable and which were not. Everyone who played got a FREE Aquapod bottle of water, care of the Nutrition Team!
The Nutrition Team’s main focus this week was to promote daily consumption of affordable fruits in the South End Community.We did this by giving away apples, bananas, and oranges at that evening’s event. We placed each fruit’s nutrition facts on them to show the community members how these fruits are beneficial to the health of the individual and the community while being affordable. To our surprise, many people did not know a lot of the facts that we had on the fruits, but they were interested in the information that we provided them.
The Environmental Team’s main focus this week was to promote energy conservation and energy-efficient products, such as compact fluorescent light bulbs. We developed a game consisting of a series of multiple choice questions based on energy saving methods that would be useful to the community and individuals. The participants in the game were then entered into a raffle to win a set of energy efficient light bulbs. The winner was announced at the end of Salsa In The Park that evening, and was very happy about their new light bulbs.
The Performance Team led us to start teaching salsa lessons to the Blackstone’s summer camp kids this week.
It is so much fun to engage with these children, and get them excited about salsa dancing!
Contributing Writer: Shatia Faria
We really started to get into the swing of things this week, as we worked hard at learning how to engage with people attending the events. We found ourselves very comfortable with approaching people and talking to
them about our project and asking them to salsa dance.
This week the Environmental Team focused on energy conservation through alternative transportation by having SITP participants fill out a cross-word puzzle about the subject, and then holding another raffle of the people who answered correctly, giving away a $10 MBTA Charlie Card to the winner.
The Nutrition Team promoted healthy eating by focusing on the nutritious benefits on vegetables through a quiz/matching game. Everyone who matched the fact with the correct vegetable won a free pack of baby carrots. . The Nutrition Team also played a nutrition relay game with the Blackstone summer camp kids, where they had to match the fact with the category of food it was describing - either fruit, vegetable, nut, or whole grain.
Both teams also made maps of the South End community – the Environmental Team had one highlighting how to take public transit to SITP, and the Nutrition Team had one showing where to buy fresh fruits and vegetables in the South End.
The Performance Team helped redesign the Salsa In The Park webpage, and their efforts can be seen here.
We all also had the treat of seeing not one, but two professional salsa performances that evening by Salsa Y Control!!
Contributing Writer: Sierra Schwartz
We launched our “VOTE Salsa In The Park on Pepsi Refresh!” campaign this week! MetaMovements has applied for a Pepsi Refresh Everything grant, and we need EVERYONE’s vote! Find our Pepsi project at: http://www.refresheverything.com/salsainthepark/
, and our viral voting campaigns at on both GoogleGroups
This week, the Environmental Team focused on educating the Blackstone community on alternative forms of energy, such as solar, wind, and bio-fuel, by having a word search game to enter participants into a raffle with a solar powered clock as the prize.
The Nutrition Team focused on the importance of nuts in a healthy diet by also having a word search where participants got a free bag of peanuts, almonds, or cashews for playing.
The Performance Team put together a courtesy sign, “10 Simple Steps to Enjoy SITP!” to help give people some guidelines about how to keep this a fun, family-friendly event for everyone!
Lastly, we celebrated Ndia's birthday, and we surprised her with a cupcake from one of our South End neighbors, Flour Bakery. Yum!
Contributing Writer: Cori Baer
This week the Nutrition Team focused on promoting whole grain products, by introducing the Glycemic Index through a fun game, where one was required to rank different foods based on the amount of glucose they contain. The Nutrition Team gave out whole grain crackers as a prize for playing the game.
The Environmental Team developed a funny and informative Mad-Lib game about composting, along with a flyer describing how to start composting in your own home. They then raffled off compostable trash bags to the people who played.
The Performance Team continued to dance and interact with the salsa community, and helped out with the beginner and intermediate classes. Before SITP that evening, we also all went to Squashbusters, another BCYF summer program, to teach the kids there salsa for the afternoon!
We also took some time this week to work on our resumes and portfolios, so that we'll be able to apply for more cool jobs in the future. We each have our own "Job Search Toolkit", and fell ready to take on anything!
Contributing Writer: Emily Woisin
This was our final week, and our last Salsa In The Park! One of the big things we had planned for this night was the drawing of our SITP Raffle winners. We have been selling raffle tickets for the last month, offering fabulous prizes like a make-over for two at Fresh
, a chef's dinner for two at Stella
, passes to Masacote's Black and White Salsa Ball
in December, handmade jewelry, passes to salsa Boston-area salsa clubs, and private lessons with top-notch salsa instructors. Also, all the teams planned culminating activities for their projects.
The Nutrition Team talked about healthy meal planning, and created a hand-out to help people plan their grocery shopping list around the healthy meals they planned on eating for the week. Printed on the back was the Healthy Eating Pyramid by Walter Willett. They also made "Portion Plates" for the Blackstone kids to take home.
The Environmental Team talked about Zero Waste, and created a "what's your environmental score" survey for both kids and adults. These were a big hit with the Blackstone kids, as they learned that environmentalism is more than just recycling your empty soda can!
The big hit of the evening though was of course the Performance Team's fabulous salsa routine that they performed for everyone. They have been working so hard on this all summer long, and it was amazing! But don't let me tell you it was great, check it out for yourself!