Let me say up front that I love children. Especially adorable 8-12 year olds who are bright, articulate and respectful.
A few weeks ago, a fellow student invited other nutrition students, such as myself, to volunteer for an American Heart Association event for boys and girls in a summer program. I said yes, but had second thoughts. I really didn't know what to expect, so when the coordinator called me last night to confirm, I reluctantly said yes. I also found out what we would be talking about.
The topic to be discussed was sugar. In the end, there were four of us, each taking less than 10 minutes each to bring up a nutritional concept related to sugar. In truth, there was no script, no coordination. It was all ad-lib and it was great.
I borrowed a teaching aid from school: an acrylic box that showed the amount of sugar in various food items using real sugar. The children were amazed and surprised. We started out with a demonstration of just how much sugar there is in a 8-oz glass of Gatorade (14 teaspoons), a teaspoon of fresh-squeezed orange juice and some food coloring in a base of water. The children were literally shocked.
In the end (30 minutes later), we asked the group what they were planning on drinking for now on. "Water" they cried in unison.
I must admit, I've haven't had this much fun or been so satisfied with my efforts in a while. The coordinator, who just became a Master's student, was scared and uneasy about it all in the beginning, and was relieved when it was finally over.
The bottom line is: if you are a coordinator, it doesn't matter how much you know or what you do. It matters that you bring together a group that does. In that, she was very successful indeed.