Undergraduate Student Experiences
Husky Reads (NUSC 1161 or EDLR 1161)
Low literacy and limited access to healthy foods is particularly acute in urban youth living in poverty. The Husky Reads course at UConn provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to impact this problem through the delivery of nutrition information that promotes literacy in Connecticut preschoolers.
Service Learning/Community Engagement
UConn students work in pairs or in small teams using prepared lesson plans that allow them to focus on literacy skills and nutrition information, while also enabling them to gain classroom management skills. In addition,students benefit from experiential learning in community settings that increases their cultural competence with the groups served.
The overall goal of Husky Reads is to provide basic nutrition information and healthy food tastings to young (preschool-aged) children living in underserved urban areas in Connecticut. Additionally, the Husky Reads experience is designed to provide students with opportunities to participate in advocacy, education, and service to the community in the areas of public health and nutrition.
Husky Nutrition (NUSC 3171)
The Husky Nutrition (NUSC 3171) course emphasizes community service, with learning laboratory and site lesson plan development all focused on enhancing the applied, community experience. UConn students enrolled in this course increase their understanding of nutrition and health in underserved Connecticut communities, gain skills in conveying healthy nutrition messages to families, and solidify their cultural competence. At the community site, students interact with parents or caregivers and their children, engaging them and delivering brief, healthy nutrition messages when the parents and caregivers come to pick up their children.
The overall goals of the course are:
- To understand the principles of healthy nutrition messaging and be able to convey these principles in the community;
- To positively impact community health and well-being by providing nutrition education to parents and caregivers of preschool children that results in reducing children’s consumption of sweetened beverages; and
- To listen to and learn from parents, caregivers, and children about their communities in order to understand what works to improve good nutrition and what challenges they face.
Husky Nutrition Summer Scholars
Every summer, Husky Nutrition offers a paid internship for undergraduate and graduate level students studying at UConn. Husky Scholars (interns) act as role models and mentors by developing lessons and sharing healthy eating and physical activity messages to participants in underserved areas throughout Connecticut.
Husky Scholars participate in active community engagement by:
- Delivering and creating nutrition education lessons to participants across the lifespan through Husky Reads, the On-the-Go Healthy Beverage Series, and the Husky Smart Shopping programs.
- Assisting with research projects and with media projects associated with the SNAP4CT Online Nutrition Education platform.
Husky Nutrition is funded by the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-Ed). The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition assistance to people with low income, so they can buy nutritious foods for a better diet.