Important note: The following recommendation was approved by the Board of Supervisors on Sept. 1, 2015, as part of a larger report (attached): 

DISTRICT 3 (Supervisor Don Horsley)

FY 2015-17 Measure A Request UC Cooperative Extension 4H Healthy Living Ambassadors Program $60,000 total ($30,000 in FY2015-16 and $30,000 in FY2016-17)

This is a request for $30,000 per year for two years to UC Cooperative Extension to support its 4H (Head, Heart, Health, Hands) Youth Development Program, specifically the Healthy Living Ambassadors Program.

This innovative program trains teen Healthy Living Ambassadors (HLAs) in the basics of food cultivation, horticulture, nutrition, fitness, community leadership, child development, and instructional practices for teaching children healthy living skills while growing a school garden. While many school garden beds have been cultivated across San Mateo County, a shift in school resources and focus on classroom time at the local level have left many garden spaces without support. HLAs provide a youth-driven solution that not only emphasizes outdoor play and civic engagement, but also a meaningful effort to raise the standard of healthy living and connection to food sources in our community. After training HLAs deliver an eight week (March through May) garden-based, afterschool nutrition and physical education program to local San Mateo County elementary school children.

During this time teens plant and nurture seeds side-byside with children. At the end of the eight weeks, children and teens harvest their crop together, and make a healthy snack with the vegetables and herbs they have grown. In an effort to expand and deepen the HLA youth’s 4H experience beyond the spring planting season, the program seeks to develop a model that will provide continual engagement and offer youth further development opportunities in finding their own voice.

The HLA program (through youth-adult partnerships) in collaboration with UC CalFresh qualifying schools, are working to develop smarter lunchrooms to make the healthy option the easy option, and strategizing ways to make their communities healthy and safe. As part of this program, UC Cooperative Extension will determine the effects of this eight week Healthy Living Ambassador Program on youth’s vegetable selection, intake and consumption habits. This will be done through written food preference, self-efficacy and CA 4-H CYFAR youth surveys (pre/post to teens, elementary school children and adults and controls). A vegetable choice and consumption behavior assay (pre/post) will also be completed. Demand for the program currently exceeds capacity – these funds will support the expansion of the program.

UC Cooperative Extension plans to have the Healthy Living Ambassadors program in a minimum of six San Mateo County sites this coming year serving approximately 50 teens and nearly 400 children between ages 7-10 and plan to continue expansion of the program as capacity develops. TheS an Mateo County Health will work with UC Cooperative Extension staff on including performance objectives for the County’s Measure A funds in the agreement. 

Important note: This is a copy of the official report -- item 10 on the Board's  agenda