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Bringing Farm to School

Nora Ryan,   Piney Point El
Farm to School — Know Your Foods
Access to Healthy Foods,  Community Involvement
Bringing Farm to School
We started the season with a kickoff celebration during our Fall Festival. We invited Miss Moo the mascot of the Agriculture Education Committee from Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to be part of the event. The students, along with their families participated in a fun 5k run. Miss Moo and the ambassadors started the first lap along with all the participants and cheered them on along the way by giving high fives. At the end of the race, Miss Moo and the ambassadors handed out chocolate milk to the participants to refuel after the run. They were able to take pictures with Miss Moo in the picture frame made by the ambassadors out of milk cartons. Other stations were available with samples of healthy snacks for the students and their families. This year we incorporated two amazing nutrition programs at our school, the Common Threads Small Bites Nutrition Program, and Brighter Bites Nutrition Program. Both programs have impacted the whole community at large. We want our students to learn about where food comes from and to expose their families to fresh produce to cook at home. The Small Bites Nutrition Program from Common Threads teaches students recipes from different food groups in My Plate. The students make different recipes in class using fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains, and dairy. Brighter Bites Nutrition Program consists of giving families fresh fruits and vegetables. The food is donated from the Houston Food Bank to our school every Friday and a group of volunteers divide the fresh produce in bags. There is also a physical activity component from CATCH that must be taught during physical education class. We are grateful for the opportunity to have these community sponsors helping our school have a healthy life by advertising healthy habits.

How did students and adults work together as a team?

We have an amazing community where our parents are always involved with our projects. During the Common Threads Small Bites Nutrition lessons, they make sure all the ingredients and the measuring cups are ready at each table for the students when they arrive to class. We are truly blessed to have a group of volunteers from the Houston Rodeo Agriculture Education Committee as community partners to help us with our nutrition lessons twice a week.