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Merrily We MOO Along

Stephen Cefalu,   Clearwood Junior High School
Breakfast For Everyone — First Meal Matters
Access to Healthy Foods, Community Involvement, Physical Activity Participation, Success with Funds,  Teamwork
Merrily We MOO Along
Slidell’s Clearwood Junior High School pulled out all the stops as we kicked-off our Fuel Up to Play 60 school year campaign with a gala celebration of National Milk Day. Clearwood Junior High's ol’s cafeteria manager Pam Penton and her dedicated staff, together with the support of the administration, the PTA, the faculty, and –most of all - the students, have transformed their cafeteria into the Fuel Up to Play 60 cafe’. They have posters hanging in the café to encourage everyone to make milk products a part of their daily meals. On National Milk Day, Mrs. Penton had all of the faculty dress up as “Moo Cows” and greet students, parents, and bus drivers with a healthy and hearty “MOO”!! Elsie, the official Borden cow, was there at each lunch to greet and take pictures with students, teachers, and the FUTP 60 café’ chefs. Borden dairy also donated ½ gallons of Kids Builder for the students and staff to sample. There was a “mooing contest”. Since Clearwood Junior High received a grant from  FUTP 60 last year, we now offer daily “Grab and Go” dairy options for breakfast and lunch. We have also been able to expand our ability to offer parfaits, smoothies, cheese sticks, yogurt, and pizza to everyone. Clearwood's National Milk Day gala celebration has received many great reviews from our administration, faculty, and students. Our principal, Brian Hirstius, has told Mrs. Penton and her café’ chefs that he is TOTALLY supportive and on board to make sure the school's Fuel Up to Play 60 program is a major part of the Clearwood Junior High experience for everyone.

How did students and adults work together as a team?

IT is called TEAMWORK! First Program Advisors Shannon Landry, Jen Duhon, and Stephen Cefalu walked us through the process of signing up for the FUTP 60 program. After we were fortunate to get a $2,000 grant, we upgraded our cafeteria equipment so we could offer more dairy products to the students and faculty. Then we spoke to the administration, faculty, PTA, and the students and they were 100% involved. Then we re-decorated the cafeteria and make it the Fuel up To Play 60 cafe'.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

Our challenge is how do we make the FUTP 60 program significant at Clearwood. The answer is by using our best resource - everyone. We have asked for input from everyone on how they can help us grown the Fuel up To Play 60 programs here at Clearwood. National Milk Day was a huge success because the entire school is a Fuel up To Play 60 team. We are off and running!

What improvements have you seen at your school?

We have added additional healthy, dairy foods such as: "Grab and Go' Breakfasts and lunches, parfaits, yogurts, smoothies, more cheese sticks, and more pizzas. The student and faculty response has been fantastic. They love them and we offer them every day. We are in the process of increasing the daily number because we always run out.