Access to Healthy Foods, Community Involvement, Physical Activity Participation, Student Leadership, Success with Funds, Teamwork
Our school garden teaches students more about health than the standard health curriculum. Our Garden Club meets on Mondays after school with up to 125 students. We have showcased several recipes in our lunchroom throughout the year, beginning with refrigerator pickles, using our garlic, onions and cucumbers from the garden. We have also shown how to make salsa during lunch while students watched from garden to table-taste on their tacos. We held a cooking night showcasing our Garden Club kids taking a leadership roll in cooking healthy recipes. This event has served as a community outreach, allowing others to take part in our positive school culture. A question to one of the students in attendance was "Did you try a different kind of food?" A student tried cauliflower, made with mashed cauliflower, Greek yogurt, garlic and parmesan cheese as a mashed potato substitute, as well as lemon cottage cheese pancakes – learning how to pair our foods while understanding the glucose curve. Our school has a fully irrigated garden with an outdoor classroom. Each grade plants according to an area of study from their classrooms. Grandview 2nd graders participate in “Adopt a Farmer”, as our students pen pal with a local dairy farmer. Students are amazed as they actually have an opportunity to visit the farm and learn hands-on what goes on behind the scenes of the refrigerator doors of the grocery store. I also love to see the parent chaperone comments as they participate with our students. We have teamed up with a local grower Randy Schwalm - showcasing sugar beets, corn and wheat. Our students learn it takes 2 ears of corn to make a box of corn flakes, 2 gallons of water to irrigate those ears of corn and 10 sugar beets make a bag of sugar. Our dairy tour shows the students that the milk they pull from their refrigerator tastes much better knowing how much work went into that bowl of cereal.
Through the FUTP 60 grant, we have been able to increase participation using Garmin GPS units, creating a "fitness cache’. Once we enter the school, I am able to plug the GPS unit into the computer to show the students their foot steps. This offers maximum participation. Through peer leadership students will have a responsibility or a role equipping them for the 21st century. Recess is much more than free time. Allowing an opportunity for students to engage in physical activity, learn and build character, develop cooperation skills and practice social interaction.
What improvements have you seen at your school?
Positive school culture as been used by many families as they enter our building and experience the opportunities provided. Students are proud of where their food comes from and take ownership to share with their families the experiences they have had during class time. While hosting cooking nights, our families have had a chance to witness the same excitement the students bring home.
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