L.E. Berger Elementary School in West Fargo has been working hard to change the food and fitness culture in its building, of over 400 students, this school year. LE Berger has recently improved the school lunch line experience by adding a modern, colorful menu board that displays pictures of the school lunches for each week in a fresh new way. The menu board has been a great addition that generates excitement and reduces confusion about the school lunch menu. Along with the menu board the salad bar has black trays that now show off the bright colors of the produce, instead of the traditional stainless steel tubs. The school is also in the process of improving students’ snack environment by providing students with a “Fruit and Veggie Challenge” bookmark that encourages students to try the fruits and vegetables offered through their “Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program”. The bookmarks also help to promote trying new fruits and vegetables at home. One day a week parents at L.E. Berger provide snacks for their children, to help promote parents bringing healthier snack options a “healthy snack” flyer was sent home with students. Students, parents, and staff have been widely supportive of the healthy changes. “Our monthly committee meetings have been key in getting our staff, students, and PTA involved in our new health initiatives,” assistant principal Chad Clark remarked. “The colorful menu board has been an especially big hit with the students.” L. E. Berger fully intends to continue their momentum as they create healthy and supportive spaces for children to grow.
How did you accomplish your goals?
Our committee meets monthly. At our meetings we discuss both challenges and accomplishments. We have been working with staff from Dakota Medical Foundation. We were able to receive a “Smarter Lunchrooms” grant for additional funding.
What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
Communication was a challenge we overcame through sending emails, putting up posters, and sending flyers home to parents. The most productive way of overcoming our obstacles was getting teachers to be on board with having a healthy and active building.
How do you plan to make this Play last during the school year and beyond?
Our team will continue to meet monthly, apply for grants, and set monies aside for our current programs. Staff will continue to improve our programs by adding initiatives that will make Berger students healthy and active learners.