Apples! Salad! Pizza! Tacos! These foods were the overwhelming winners of the icebreaker game where seventeen 6th grade students shouted out their favorite meals, fruits, and vegetables. On October 6th, the new Wellness 4 Success (W4S) program was launched at Francis Scott Key (FSK) Middle School in Silver Spring.

Excited and eager to learn more about this special, invitation-only program, the students played interactive group games, challenged themselves with fun science experiments, and toured the courtyard garden that they would become responsible for maintaining.

Wellness 4 Success is a collaboration between non-profit organizations YMCA YFS, Big Learning, and Montgomery Victory Gardens funded by the Jim & Carol Trawick Foundation. Students meet after school three days a week. On Wednesdays, they receive guidance and support for school homework assignments, while Tuesdays and Thursdays are hands-on science, gardening, and physical and mental fitness activities.

Participants are selected by school counselors based on academic achievement. School staff hope this program will improve students’ physical-fitness, social-emotional skills, and academic performance. Students help plant, maintain, and harvest from a year-round garden, learn the science behind food and nutrition, and increase their awareness of physical fitness in their daily lives. The program also includes special trips such as visiting a local urban garden, rock climbing at Carderock, and spending an afternoon in the woods at YMCA Camp Letts keep the students motivated and engaged in the program.

Categories: Y Stories