The Healthy & Wise Program at the Yeshiva of Central Queens (YCQ) offers students a positive message about living a healthful lifestyle through hands-on, multidisciplinary lessons, focused on nutritious eating habits, physical activity, germs, and personal hygiene. Mrs. Aliza Solomon, Assistant Teacher at YCQ, has a bachelor’s degree with honors in Family Nutrition and Exercise Science (FNES) from Queens College, and a master’s degree in Public Health from Grand Canyon University in Arizona. She developed the comprehensive curriculum based on her interest in health and nutrition, and eventually expanded the program to include all aspects of living a healthful Jewish life.

Noted Mrs. Solomon, “The idea for the Healthy & Wise Program arose from a homework assignment I was working on for school. I try to change the lessons periodically, to keep health subjects interesting and exciting for the students, and teaching topics in a unique way. New lessons were developed to cover COVID-19 concerns, and our new lifestyle of mask-wearing and social distancing. I have been conducting the Healthy & Wise Program at YCQ for about eight years.”

“I enjoy working with our younger students because you can see the excitement and interest in their eyes. Children, especially preschoolers, love to copy their teachers, family members, and peers. They mimic table manners, willingness to try new foods, and food preferences. They try different exercise activities if they see their friends doing it at recess. I love when students approach me outside, or in the hallways, or even at the supermarket, to tell me that they are eating a healthful snack (favorites are apples and carrots), or that they rode their bike after school,” Mrs. Solomon continued.

Students have plenty to say about their experiences with the YCQ Healthy & Wise Program. Maayan Neman stated, “Healthy & Wise teaches kids healthy stuff and to be healthy. I like the program.” Shoshana Rakhminov expressed, “I learned that we should exercise every morning.” Aharon Katz replied, “We get to do fun activities and be active in the classroom.”

Mrs. Solomon concluded, “I am so grateful to the YCQ administration for giving me the opportunity to bring this program to life, and the flexibility to redevelop it from year to year. Thank you to my fellow YCQ teachers who support me taking over their classes each month. And thank you to my family for helping make the Healthy & Wise Program a reality!”