Maunika Reddy

Boston University

Class of 2021 Health Science Major

Real Kids Real Food/ Eat to Thrive Intern

 

Real Kids Real Food Camp Counselor Ages 3 – 6 Summer of 2020

In the summer of 2020, I interned at Real Kids Real Food and Eat to Thrive with Betsy Bragg. For Real Kids Real Food, I worked on the first virtual summer camp where I was one of the counselors for the 3-6 age group. For Eat to Thrive, I mainly did administrative work to further help Eat to Thrive run smoothly.

Real Kids Real Food summer camp was such a valuable experience. I was able to work on my teamwork and communication skills. Since this camp was all online, I also improved my communication skills through Zoom and over the phone. Furthermore, for my group, I helped create lesson plans that were tailored for the three to six-year-olds. The boundless energy of these kids always made everything more fun. We played games, did exercises, led meditations, and presented food demonstrations while the kids made the recipes at home. Participating in Eat to Thrive classes aided us in teaching the children how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

By being involved in the administrative side of Eat to Thrive, I worked one on one with Betsy and learned what it takes to run a business. I helped with Constant Contact newsletter, which is where I learned how to market the classes to a specific audience. During the classes, I would record any questions that were not answered and make sure that Betsy would email the students the answers. I was also the technical assistant for some of the virtual classes, in which I was involved in admitting the students and guest speakers into the class, presenting any videos or slideshows, and uploading the recordings into Youtube. I also led breakout room discussions. Eat to Thrive was educational and helped me improve my communication, organizational, and teamwork skills.

This was a wonderful experience. Betsy is a great mentor who is passionate about what she is doing. She not only cares so much about her students but for the interns as well. Her dedication and devotion made this a memorable experience. This internship is something that I will always value, and will impact what I do in the future.

Asanya Wawlagala

Brandeis University Class of 2023

Health, Science, Society and Policy (HSSP) & Biology Major

Real Kids Real Food Intern

Real Kids Real Food Counselor Ages 3-6 In the summer of 2020

I interned with Betsy as part of the Eat to Thrive/Real Kids Real Food virtual summer program. I worked with the 3-6 group, which can be a tricky group to work with; however, I learned that the key to success for online camps is to engage the children busy with different activities throughout the hour. The program also taught me how to make personal lifestyle choices to implement more healthy practices and how to effectively teach that to these young children.

Every week we would make lesson plans and this taught me how to organize my thoughts into one page summaries of what was going to happen in the class and it also helped to communicate our goals to the parents. My favorite part of the internship was teaching the children. The group we had was a lively bunch, and keeping them attentive for an hour was something that took time and patience. When working with young children, you have to be flexible and be able to adapt on the fly.

We taught the children a range of educational topics, such as about the life cycles of plants which they implemented by planting veggies, the water cycle, fruits and vegetables and much more. We had to make sure the lessons were understandable (age appropriate) and enjoyable for young children. My Co-Counselor and I worked hard on refining the lesson plan to make that happen. Overall, the children had an enjoyable time in the class and they would always tell about the fun they had and how they learned so much. There were five components to our lesson plan: the implementation of the healthy living objective, exercise, meditation, review of old material, and recipe demonstration. The children prepared the recipe alongside or after the video with their parents. This made them feel like a real chef and incorporated them and their parents more into the process of learning about healthy lifestyles.

Another skill I learned more about was marketing and promotion. I would help to create letters and newsletter through Constant Contact software. This allowed me to be creative and it also allowed me to see the promotional and marketing side of an organization. I also made a lot of phone calls to local daycares and preschools in order to enroll more children to join the class. In order to run a successful class, you have to be able to market yourself and the product successfully and Betsy Bragg helped to show us that and how to use the Constant Contact software to help make sure the promotional and marketing end was a success.

Betsy Bragg was a phenomenal director and I learned a lot from her. She was dedicated to helping others and showed so much kindness and patience when working with me to complete a task. She was a great person to work with and helped me gain self confidence and teach me more about healthy living that I will take with me even after I leave this position. I have learned so much in my time at this internship from professional skills to lifestyle improvement and I am very thankful for it all.

Spandana Shankara

Brandeis University Class of 2023

Economics & Applied Mathematics Major

Real Kids Real Food/ Eat to Thrive Intern

Real Kids Real Food Camp Counselor Ages 12 – 18 In the summer of 2020

I interned at Real Kids Real Food and Eat to Thrive with Betsy. For Real Kids Real Food, I worked on the first virtual summer camp where I gained valuable experience in creating lesson plans tailored to 12 – 18-year-olds about a healthy lifestyle. For Eat to Thrive, I worked primarily on the administrative side, learning about what it takes to run a business and how to efficiently run an online class. Working with a specific age group for the Real Kids Real Food summer camp helped me improve on my communication skills as I learned how to convey information to a specific group of people in a creative manner. I learned how to effectively communicate with people through video calls as well as on the phone and this greatly improved my ability to communicate with people virtually. In addition, creating lesson plans for this camp allowed me to be creative. It was a lot of fun working with the kids and they really enjoyed the lessons geared towards helping them live a healthy lifestyle with food presentations, mediation, and exercise. What helped the kids learn this information was showing them a practical way of improving their lifestyles.

The administrative side of Eat to Thrive was particularly interesting to me as that is what I hope to do more of in the future. With Constant Contact, I learned about how to market classes properly to a particular audience. I also prepared agendas and talked to guest speakers for the Eat to Thrive class which allowed me to improve on my communication and organizational skills. Working with Besty was an amazing experience. Betsy is a wonderful mentor who is a passionate, kind, and genuine person. She truly cares about the participants in her classes as well as all of her interns. I am very grateful for this internship experience as it allowed me to develop skills that are transferable to my future endeavors and projects.