Contributed by Mary Grodsky, Kids in the Kitchen Chair
The Junior League of Memphis’ Kids in the Kitchen had the opportunity to plan programming for the kickoff of G.R.O.W. Berclair. I was excited to be asked to have my team be part of G.R.O.W. Berclair, since I knew the work that had been done to make this location possible. The facilities are amazing, the staff is stellar and the kids are so grateful.
My team and I go to set up. We have educational activities and the cutest butterfly snack crafts you’ve ever seen. So we wait. And we wait. And finally, Tre walks in. Yay! There’s nothing like eight women being excited to educate a 10-year-old about nutrition! So Tre introduces himself. He goes by Tre. Sometimes he goes by Trevor. Sometimes he goes by an alias or another alias. But for today, he prefers Tre.
Me: “What is your favorite food?”
Tre: “With mayonnaise, tomato, lettuce, bun toasted.”
I knew I was going to like Tre. He spoke my love language. Cheese, mayonnaise and bun toasted? These are all the elements to a splurge day. Unfortunately, I knew this was probably not a splurge day. He tells me it’s what he had for lunch. I admit I was a little astounded at this knowing he had been at school, but I digress. We start talking about what makes this unhealthy. He immediately says it’s the mayonnaise, bun, cheese, and probably the red meat. No doubt, he’s a smart kid to know the answer immediately. We continue talking about how he can make this a better choice and he commits to trying to make better decisions at the food line in school. Mission accomplished, so I think.
After the educational portion, we decide to incorporate exercise. Passing the hula hoop in record time becomes the activity. We start laughing so hard, everyone comes in to see what the commotion is. At the end, we get so many people participating that even JLM President Amy Stack does the hula hooping game!
After the event, Tre’s grandmother comes to thank me for spending time with Tre. She explains a difficult situation occurring in his life and what limited one-on-one time he’s had lately. And then the disappointment of having just one child attend disappears. I realize how important the G.R.O.W. Berclair program is to him and his family. I can’t wait to go back again and continue seeing the progress made with this wonderful new location!