The Zest Quest® curriculum was developed by several teams of professionals. Tier 1 consisted of university professionals from across the state of South Carolina. Those professionals include the following:
- Shelley D. Hamill, PhD, CHES
- Dr. Deborah Mink
Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education
- Janet Wojcik, PhD
Department of Health and Physical Education
- Deborah Miller, PhD, CHES
Professor and Health Coordinator, Department of Health and Human Performance
College of Charleston
- Katherine Cason, PhD, RD, LD
Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition
- Lori Williams, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Health, Exercise and Sport Science
- Lynn Hammond
Director of SC Healthy Schools
SC Department of Education
- Dr. Stevie Chepko
Department Chair, Health and Physical Education
The following non-university professionals also worked on the Tier 1 Committee:
- Kathy Kent
District Health Educator
Greenville County Schools
- Sherri Lowder
- Lesslie Elementary
Rock Hill Schools
- Patsy Wood Smith, M.Ed., NBCT
Tier 2 consisted of 25 classroom teachers and instructional coaches from four South Carolina school districts: Pickens County, Greenville County, Oconee County and Spartanburg District Three.
The 15 Zest Quest® Educators served as Tier 3, taking the curriculum into the classrooms to the children and offering feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of each lesson. This feedback was used during the revision process by all three Tiers.
The focus of the Zest Quest® curriculum is nutrition and physical activity, using MyPyramid's nutrition and activity suggestions and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 at every grade level as a reference and guide.
Zest Quest® believes strongly that being physically active is part of a healthy lifestyle and in addressing all learning modalities, and therefore includes movement in every lesson.
Every lesson is cross-curricular, addressing a National Health Standard as well as a state academic standard in one of the core curricular areas: English Language Arts [ELA], Math, Science or Social Studies, and includes supplements, such as our monthly newsletter, The Fitness Flyer, which is personalized to each school and offers articles to encourage healthier eating and increased physical activity.
Zest Quest® lessons are based on Social Cognitive Theory. According to Educational Psychology: Windows on Classrooms, 6th Edition by Paul Eggen and Don Kauchak, "Modeling lies at the core of social cognitive theory. Modeling can be direct (from live models), symbolic (from books, movies, and television), or synthesized (combining the acts of different models). It can cause new behaviors, facilitate existing behaviors, change inhibitions, and arouse emotions. In learning from models, observers go through the processes of attention (observation), retention in memory, reproduction of the observed behavior, and motivation to produce the behavior in the future. Learners become self-regulated when they set learning goals on their own, monitor their progress toward the goals, and assess the effectiveness of their efforts."
The focus of the Zest Quest® curriculum is on wellness Ð encouraging students and their families to set goals related to healthy lifestyles and prevention of disease, not focusing on image or numbers.
Each MODEL lesson gives opportunity for the following:
- Modeling - Modeling is vital to the success of any lesson. Educators show the students they "walk the walk," not just "talk the talk."
- Opportunity - Educators give students the opportunity to practice the skill being taught while there to guide and encourage them.
- Discover success - Educators identify healthy decision-making successes through appropriate questioning techniques.
- Enjoy - Educators share and celebrate the success!
- Live it - Educators motivate all students to lead healthier lifestyles by making healthy nutritional choices and being physically active.