Food and Fun Day

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An On-line Activity Report Submitted by Ellen Jennings

Objectives

For the eighth graders to develop an awareness of the impact of nutrition, that practicing good nutrition isn't difficult, and for them to make a positive contribution to the community as health educators.

Who, What Where ...

Contact Person:
Ellen Jennings
Family and Consumer Science Teacher

Phone:
610-837-6391

FAX:
610-837-2469

School District:
Wayne Highlands School District

District School Name(s):
Wayne Highlands Middle School

School Address:
482 Grove Street
Honesdale, PA 18431

School Location:
Northeast Pennsylvania

School Size:
785 students

Community Description:
Rural

Origin of Activity:

This was Ellen Jennings' idea. It was instituted during the 1999-2000 school year. She wanted to have an activity that would promote the abilities of the 8th graders to perform in a mature role, in a realistic situation.

Target Audience:

Eighth grade FCS students, local Kindergarten students, local pre-school students.

Materials Used:

There are eight nutrition learning stations, each centered around a bin of materials needed to present a nutrition activity to young children Team Nutrition materials, library books, magazines, web sites, etc. for activity ideas Bins contain: children's books about food and nutrition-related topics, other materials required for each activity, such as toasters, fruit puppets, crayons Bins also contain food; primarily fresh fruits, vegs, and whole grain products.

Costs:

One-time costs:
• Bins = $10/ea X 8 = $80.
• Contents of all bins combined = $200 - $300.

 

 

Costs incurred for each occurrance:
• $40 for transportation.
• Minimum of $100 for fresh foods.
• One-half day's salary for a teacher's aid to help on the day of the fair.

Promotion:

• FCS teacher asked Kindergarten teachers to participate.
• FCS teacher contacted local parochial school, pre-school, and day care center.
• Children involved are informed in advance by their teachers.
• FCS students participate as requirement for course.

People Involved:

• FCS teacher and 8th grade students.
• Local public kindergarten, Parochial and Methodist pre-schools, and day-care children.
• Dietitian from local hospital.
• School nurse and building principal.
• Librarian.
• School cafeteria staff.

Description of the Activity:

1. Dietitian from local hospital visits FCS class to discuss her job and role as a nutrition educator. This particular dietitian specializes in pediatrics, so she ties this topic to the upcoming nutrition fair for youngsters: brings fliers promoting good habits. She focuses on fruits and vegetables and starting healthy habits early.

2. The FCS teacher consults with kindergarten teachers for ideas, materials, and food sensitivity/allergy informaion.

3. FCS teacher demonstrates sample fair activities for students. They are provided a large list of activities from which to choose for their respective stations. They also look for new activity ideas, mostly in magazines and books. (celery trucks, apple smiles, eating the alphabet, food bean bags, edible pyramid, peanut butter sculpture, monster toast, play pudding, vegetables and how good they are for you, fruits and how good they are for you)

4. The class period after the dietitian visit, student groups prepare for fair activities, based on Activity Plan Sheets provided by the teacher. They collect required materials (books, toys, etc.) and store these in the bins.

5. Students role-play their activities in class for practice and critiquing.

6. A week after the dietitian visit, the fair is conducted in the building where the young children attend their programs. Youngsters are divided into 8 groups and rotate through the fair's stations. They visit each station for about 10 minutes. The fair is video-taped by the 8th grade students, for later critiquing in class. It takes about 1.5 hours from start to finish.

7. FCS teacher completes 5-point evaluation sheet on every presentation. Visitors to the fair (mostly the teachers of the young children) are also invited to complete evaluation forms.

(This activity is conducted four times every school year: once each marking period. Ms. Jennings works with a new group of FCS students each marking period. A similar activity is also conducted with Head Start students who visit the FCS classroom.)

Results:

Ms. Jennings always evaluates every student's performance, the students rate themselves and their groups, and guests (usually the kindergarten teachers) are invited to rate the activity overall. Ms. Jennings provides an evaluation form for this. The class received a "thank-you cake" once.

Future Events:

• They expect to continue conducting these mini nutrition fairs 4 times a year.
• "This is too good to drop. We'd be able to find local sponsors if any concerns ever arise over holding these fairs," said Jennings.

What Would You Do Differently Next Time:

They may try to get some people from the school community interested in partnering witht the FCS students on this project. Possible partners: PTA, elementary schools, the school's Food Service department.

Someone has suggested that they send a letter home with each young participant with nutrition suggestions for parents.

They might try to come up with a way for the kindergarteners to express their evaluations of the fairs. (interviews? stickers?)

The FCS students always watch the video that was made during their fairs. They critique their presentations and generate lots of ideas about changes and improvements for the fair, as well as for themselves. Many of the improvements that have occurred since the first fair have been because of these brain-storming sessions.

Advice For Others Who May Want To Try This:

Go for it. Parents, students, and teachers have all commented on the improvement in the attitude of students. Test scores are expected to go up and disciplinary problems are expected to go down as participation levels improve.

Quotes:

"Are you coming back tomorrow?" — kindergarten child

"The enthusiasm of the eighth graders was refreshing as they helped the kindergarten children to understand and increase their appreciation for good nutrition." — Donna Decker (guest) Community Health Educator

"The children loved every minute of this. What a good combination – 8th graders and Kindergarteners" — kindergarten teacher (guest)

"Thank you for such a lovely program!" — kindergarten teacher (guest)

"Thank you for these well prepared and executed, developmentally appropriate activities – so important to our K-level students!" — kindergarten teacher (guest).

School-Wide Daily Nutrition Announcements

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An On-line Activity Report Submitted by Carol Gilbert

Objectives

1. To encourage positive thinking toward better nutrition.
2. To provide resources for the students to find nutrition informaiton.
3. To build on the school's adopted theme for the year: Hearts to Health.

Who, What Where ...

Contact Person:
Carol Gilbert
Director of Child Nutrition

School District:
Hempfield School District

District School Name(s):
Centerville Elementary School

School Address:
901 Centerville Road
Lancaster, PA 17601

School Location:
South Central Pennsylvania

School Size:
600 students

Community Description:
Suburban

Origin of Activity:

The school received a PDE grant to support nutrition activities. A need to revamp the district's nutrition curriculum guided the writing of the proposal that was submitted. Brainstorming by the grant committee resulted in the development of this and many other nutrition-related activities for elementary students.

Target Audience:

Entire student body of the school along with all faculty and staff. 

Materials Used:

Resource materials to prepare the nutrition announcements.

Costs:

None. 

Promotion:

This was conducted during the daily morning announcement process.

People Involved:

All classroom teachers in the school.
All students in the school.

Description of the Activity:

Each grade level signed up for a month in which they wanted to participate. Students were selected for participation by their classroom teachers. Each student prepared an announcement, which was reviewed by the teacher. One student per day provided a nutrition message during the regular morning announcements via the public address system.

Results:

Comments from students, cafeteria staff, and teachers included:
"I didn't know that!"
"Well, I learned something new today."

Future Events:

This activity ran daily throughout the school year and we are expecting it to be incorporated into the regular start of each new day next year, as well.

What Would You Do Differently Next Time:

Nothing.

Advice For Others Who May Want To Try This:

Be clear that the announcement is to be brief and that it is to be about nutrition and healthy living.

Making (Nutrition) Informational Story Books for Younger Children

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A Team Nutrition Grant/Showcase Schools activity at the Sacred Heart School

Objectives

For each 7th grade language arts student to write an informational story book that contains nutrition facts that younger children can understand.

Who, What, Where ...

Contact Person:
Mrs. Catalfano
Sixth grade homeroom teacher and Language Arts teacher for grades 6, 7, and 8.

Phone:
610-837-6391

FAX:
610-837-2469

District School Name(s):
Sacred Heart School

School Address:
115 Washington Street
Bath, PA 18014

School Location:
East Central Pennsylvania

School Size:
215 students

Community Description:
Small town

Origin of Activity:

The teacher, Mrs. Catalfano, came across a similar idea in a magazine. She adapted it to the nutrition theme.

Target Audience:

Seventh grade Language Arts students, Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade students.

Costs:

• $2.99 for the binding rings for all of the books.
• The other supplies were from the curriculum.

Promotion:

Announcements were made in the classrooms of the younger children. They were informed about the 7th grade book-making project and that the books would be read to them on International Children's Book Day.

People Involved:

• Students mentioned in Target Audience
• 7th grade Language Arts teacher
• Food Service Director
• Librarian

Description of the Activity:

1. The teacher got informational story books from the library so she could provide the Language Arts students with examples. She also gathered library resources for the students to use for fact-gathering.

2. Students brought their science books to class one day and read through the nutrition section. They then chose topics on nutrition or healthy living, to use for the basis of the books they were about to create.

3. Students conducted research on their topics. They brought to class material they found at the library and on the Internet.

4. Each student decided on 2 or 3 characters to describe and feature in her/his story. Students also decided on settings for their stories and nutrition problems to be solved in the stories.

5. The stories were written, with edits suggested by the authors, the teacher, and other students. Dummy copies of the books were made, to help with planning how the stories would be divided into page-sized sections. Illustrations were decided on next.

6. At this point the students began to work on the real books instead of practice versions. They took 15 to 20 minutes of Language Arts time each day to work on them, with the goal of completing a page a day. What was not completed on each page during that class time was assigned for homework so they could start a new page every day.

7. Some computer art was allowed, i.e. of people, who are difficult to draw, but the students were expected to do at least some of the illustrations themselves. The text could be typed or hand-written.

8. Most of the books were about 10 to 12 pages long. When the story pages were completed they were checked one more time for mistakes. The students made covers and title pages in library and art class. Then the books were bound.

9. The finished books were read to kindergarten, first, and second grade students on International Children's Book Day, April 2.

The research phase took about a week. The writing-in-class phase took about a month. This entire process took about 6 weeks.

Results:

Mrs. Catalfano feels that her students achieved the goals she had for them: to publish a book and learn more about nutrition

The book-making students "knew all the answers" when a dietition visited the school to present an assembly about nutrition.

The young children enjoyed having the books read to them and they have demonstrated learning from the project (see quotes below).

Future Events:

Mrs. Catalfano expects to conduct this activity again. Mrs. Michalski believes this has a lot of potential for other grades to try.

What Would You Do Differently Next Time:

• Have the students include bibliographies in their books.
• The teacher could bring more resource materials to the classroom to help encourage the weaker students.

Advice For Others Who May Want To Try This:

• Have a lot of patience :-) to allow enough time for it to be done thoroughly.
• Let them explore, don't limit them, be open-ended with your expectations for the books.

Quotes:

"We learned some things." — 7th grade book-maker

"It was so cool that the heroes all ate healthy foods." — second grader

Some Book Titles:
A Popcorn Problem
Spin That Carrot
The Little Green Men
To Eat or Not to Eat: That is the Question
Bob's Menu

Kitchen Tour and Hand Washing

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An On-line Activity Report Submitted by Carol Gilbert

Objectives

To provide the students with an understanding of what takes place behind the serving line, what equipment is used, the quantity of food prepared, and the sanitation methods in place to safeguard their meals.

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Glow Germ Lesson :: Sample Caption

Kitchen Tour
 

Who, What, Where ...

Contact Person:
Carol Gilbert
Director of Child Nutrition

School District:
Hempfield School District

District School Name(s):
Centerville Elementary School

School Address:
901 Centerville Road
Lancaster, PA 17601

School Location:
South Central Pennsylvania

School Size:
575 students

Community Description:
Suburban

Origin of Activity

School Nutrition Plan developed by a team.

Target Audience:

Entire student population.

Materials Used:

• Glo-Germ.
• Flourescent black light.

Costs:

$70.

Promotion:

The cafeteria manager contacted teachers via e-mail and a notice in the teacher bulletin to invite them to schedule their classes for tours of the kitchen.

People Involved:

• Cafeteria manager.
• Cafeteria manager's assistant.
• All interested students and teachers in the school.

Description of the Activity:

Tours are conducted by the cafeteria manager and/or her assistant. Pieces of equipment are identified and related to what students might find in their home kitchens. When they reach the hand washing sink, two student volunteers are selected to participate in hand washing using Glo-Germ (a flourescent non-toxic product that allows for great visualization of clean vs. unclean hands).

Two students put Glo-germ on their hands and then wash them; one thoroughly, the other like most kids do. The kitchen lights are turned off and the students use the black light to see that there are many more "germs" on the hastily-washed hands.

How and Why Did the Activity Get Started

Results:

Students are impressed and have been asking many questions. Every class has asked these two questions of the manager -- "Do you like your job?" and "Do you cook at home?" (Both are answered positively and enthusiastically!)

Student meal counts have risen. We think this may be in part because we have reduced a bit of the "mystery" of what lies behind the serving line wall.

Future Events:>

This activity can be easily done each year or throughout the year. Tours take 10 - 15 minutes and should be planned in advance.

What Would You Do Differently Next Time:

Provide opportunities for more students to wash their hands.

Advice For Others Who May Want To Try This:

Be sure to plan the tours at 'safe' times in the kitchen. We found that 9 - 9:30 a.m. worked well at our school.

Food Service Manager Subs for FCS Teacher

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An On-line Activity Report Submitted by Debbie Neal, SFNS

Objectives

To bring the cafeteria into the classroom and strengthen ties between the two.

 

Who, What, Where ...

Contact Person:
Debbie Neal
SFNS

Phone:
412-492-6365

FAX:
717-898-5636

School District:
HamptonTownship School District

District School Name(s):
Hampton Middle School

School Address:
4589 School Drive
Allison Park, PA 15101

School Location:
Southwest Pennsylvania

School Size:
818 students

Community Description:
Suburban

Origin of Activity:

The teacher could not find coverage for both the foods unit and the sewing units while on a 3-day field trip so, since we've worked together before (class tours of kitchen, Guest chef, etc.) she asked if I would do a demo and supervise students' Chicken Stir-fry preparations in her absence.

Target Audience:

Eighth grade Family and Consumer Science Class.

>Materials Used:

Chicken Stir-fry ingredients.

Costs:

Nothing extra – ingredients were purchased using the general teaching fund.

Promotion:

This was the regular class agenda for this time frame.

People Involved:

• Food Service Manager
• Family and Consumer Science Teacher
• Eighth grade FCS class
• A substitute teacher hired to teach the sewing lessons for that day, who remained in the classroom during the food prep so a certified teacher would be present while the FSD conducted the activity

Description of the Activity:

• Chicken cutting & vegetable cutting.
• Discussion of proper knife-handling and food safety issues.
• Follow lesson plan from teacher.

Results:

Students were very attentive and asked many appropriate questions. On the second day they prepped for cooking. Food was cooked when the teacher returned.

Future Events:

This may become an annual event if the teacher goes on a multi-day trip again.

What Would You Do Differently Next Time:

Food Service Manager would also be available when the actual cooking is performed.

Advice For Others Who May Want To Try This:

Be prepared for anything and keep a sense of humor. Most of the students have no idea what they are doing. They didn't pay close attention to the preliminary discussion, so be prepared to do "on-the-job" training.

Johnny Appleseed Visits School

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An On-line Activity Report Submitted by Carol Gilbert

Objectives

1. To reinforce the life and livelihood of John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, by having a 'real' visit by Johnny Appleseed to K–2nd graders.
2. To encourage interaction with a nutrition–related legend.
3. To raise awareness of the nutritional value of apples and the importance of eating fruit every day.
4. To reveal the Star within The Center of the apple (found when slicing the apple horizontally).

Who, What, Where ...

Contact Person:
Carol Gilbert
Director of Child Nutrition

School District:
Hempfield School District

District School Name(s):
Rohrerstown Elementary School

School Address:
1 Mayer Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17603-2268

School Location:
South Central Pennsylvania

School Size:
450 students

Community Description:
Urban

Origin of Activity:

When Carol first started at Hempfield 15 years ago they had Apple Celebrations. One year she visited each cafeteria as Johnny Appleseed. The word still spreads each year among the teachers that she will visit as Johnny. The activity was started to link the cafeteria to the classroom at the elementary level, as part of their Johnny Appleseed Celebrations.

Target Audience:

Elementary, grades K–2.

>Costs:

Two Dollars or more for apples, depending on how you incorporate them into the activities. Student interaction . . . PRICELESS!

>Materials Used:

• Apples
• Food Service staffer (in this case, Director) dressed as Johnny Appleseed, barefoot and pot on head!
• Two story books from the library: Johnny Appleseed by Steven Kellogg and The Little House with No Doors by Gladys Ames.

Promotion:

The teachers remind each other about it every year by word-of-mouth.

People Involved:

Classroom teachers, Director of Child Nutrition, students, parents, cafeteria managers, other cafeteria staff.

Description of the Activity:

Requests for Johnny Appleseed to visit the classroom are accepted by the Director of Child Nutrition in early September. "Johnny" visits the classroom and interacts with the students, asking questions, describing his life and his interest in planting apple trees. Students often sing Happy Birthday for Johnny, along with "apple songs."

Apple-based foods are menued the last week of September and the first week of October.

Results:>

The high level of student involvement is a gauge of the effectiveness of the activity. Students often send a Thank You note reflecting their enthusiasm for the visit.

>Future Events:

This event will continue as long as Carol agrees to dress as Johnny . . . which she loves to do!

What Would You Do Differently Next Time:

Nothing. Everything works great!

Advice For Others Who May Want To Try This:

You have to be able to go with the flow, be quick on your feet and ready to respond to all kinds of questions!

Menu Calendar

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An On-line Activity Report Submitted by Gloria J. Clawson

Objectives

To raise participation by creating a kid–friendly menu calendar for elementary students. The full–school year calendar can be permanently hung on the kitchen wall, and not lost or misplaced like the "refrigerator" menu sheets.

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Menu Calendar :: Sample Caption

Menu Calendar :: Sample Caption

Menu Calendar :: Sample Caption

Who, What, Where ...

Contact Person:
name here
title here

Email:
email here

Phone:
phone here

FAX:
fax here

School District:
district here

District School Name(s):
school name

School Address:
school address

School Location:
location here

School Size:
size here

Community Description:
description here

Origin of Activity:

Gloria read about a similar calendar produced in Texas and liked the idea to try to boost participation. She believes if the young children know what's for lunch, they are more apt to purchase lunch. Gloria began by searching for ideas and activities to be placed on the calendar. The school district uses a 6–week cycle that allows for a manager's choice to try new products or use up extra commodity, so she was able to create the menus for the entire year.

Target Audience:

Elementary school students.

Costs:

Advertising by several food manufacturers and funds from the Dunbar Township Elementary School's Parent–Teacher Group helped in covering the costs to provide one calendar per family free of charge. Remaining calendars are available to the community for $1.00 each. The total cost of printing was $3300.

Promotion:

The calendars were distributed through the Parent–Teacher Group, which helped sponsor the project. Each family in the school received a calendar.

People Involved:

Gloria J. Clawson
The Food Service department secretary
The food manufacturers
The printer

Description of the Activity:

First, you need to be able to create your menus for the year (A bonus too, if you can add your summer food menus). Next, you must search thoroughly for the proper activities, pictures, etc. to be placed on the calendar. Finally, you must work closely with the printer to pull it all together. The calendars were professionally printed complete with lunch and breakfast menus, educational nutrition activities, school holidays and possible snow make–up days, along with summer food menus.

Results:

The full results have not been evaluated yet. This is the first year (2002–2003) that the calendar has been in use. The printer is very proud of the finished product and featured it in their January newsletter.

Future Events:

Gloria plans to do another calendar next year and involve more schools, and then evaluate the outcome to see if it is worth the extra work. It is a lot of work.

What Would You Do Differently Next Time:

Gloria would have started earlier. She didn't get the idea until late summer and the calendar didn't come out until early November.

Advice For Others Who May Want To Try This:

Search for educational activities throughout the year. After having produced this calendar, Gloria looks at magazines, articles, etc., with a different frame of mind.

Quotes:

"I like that the calendar is personal, using our own students on the cover." — School Staff Member

"I work in the school office and the new cafeteria calendar has been such a help to my mornings. The menu is at my fingertips. I don't have to get the menu from our local school channel nor do I have to remember to cut the menu out of our local newspaper every week. I hope it is continued every year. I'm all for anything that makes life easier and gives me more time." — School Staff Member

"I like the free coupon in the back of the calendar." — Student

" check my calendar each day to see what's for lunch." — Teacher

"I am very happy to see the Summer Food Menu on the calendar." — Parent

"The new Connellsville Area School District Menu Calendar is a great addition to the information items we provide to both parents and students. Not only does it contain the menu of the day and serve as a calendar, but it also contains educational information, games and activities, and the school district character education word of the month. Mrs. Clawson, Director of Food Service, did a great job putting this calendar together." — Superintendent

"The new menu calendar will save me paper. Since every family received one, I won't be sending home the refrigerator sheets." — Principal

"The new menu calendar teaches the students the food groups, foreign languages, and generally how to eat healthy." — Community Member

"I bought a menu calendar for when my grand- children come to visit. They enjoy the Summer Food Program." — Community Member

"I enjoyed the challenge of pulling this project together, and am very proud of the resulting calendar." — Gloria J. Clawson

Breakfast with the Principal

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An On-line Activity Report Submitted by Joyce Ciarla

Objectives

Ms. Joyce Ciarla, supervisor of food service, used breakfast as a vehicle to introduce the new middle school principal to the student body. As a benefit, these breakfasts with the principal made the students, parents, and community aware of the school's existing breakfast program. The weekly get–togethers opened the door to a series of alternative breakfast ideas including a grab–and–go breakfast in the classroom.

The current plan is to finish the school year with a free grab–and–go breakfast for the entire school, after the series of 21 "breakfasts with the principal" are over in April.

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Breakfast with the Principal :: Sample Caption

Breakfast with the Principal :: Sample Caption

Breakfast with the Principal :: Sample Caption

Breakfast with the Principal :: Sample Caption
 

Who, What, Where ...

Contact Person:
Joyce Ciarla
Supervisor of Food Service

School District:
Mahanoy Area School District

District School Name(s):
Mahanoy Area Middle School

School Address:
1 Golden Bear Drive
Mahanoy City, PA 17948

School Location:
Northeastern Pennsylvania

School Size:
1335 students (Mahanoy Area School District)

Community Description:
Rural

Origin of Activity:

After receiving a grant and "Got Milk" coolers to help increase breakfast participation during the 2001– 2002 school year, Joyce began to introduce alternative breakfast delivery ideas in the schools to encourage breakfast participation.

At this time, the school district hired Mr. William Hume as principal for the middle school. He believes in the importance of good nutrition practices in school environments. Mr. Hume knew that Joyce was trying to increase breakfast participation in the district, and he thought a complimentary breakfast with each homeroom would offer a great opportunity to build relationships.

Target Audience

Grades 5 – 8.

Costs:

With the help of USDA–donated commodities, the cost of the meal was very low. The additional cost of purchased food was covered by a grant the school district received from the Mid–Atlantic Dairy Association to increase breakfast participation. There was no additional labor cost involved.

Promotion:

In the beginning of the 2001–2002 school years Mr. Hume and Joyce decided on a schedule for the entire year. Each week an invitation was sent to a homeroom teacher inviting the class and teacher to have breakfast with the middle school principal after homeroom. The school newspaper ran a story promoting the program as well as the local newspapers, which published articles about the program and the importance of breakfast in the school system.

People Involved:

Ms. Joyce Ciarla — Supervisor of Food Services
Mr. William Hume — Middle School Principal
Sharon Burke & Donna Sluck – Staff Coordinators
Mrs. Maryann Bickowski — Cook

Description of the Activity:

Joyce asked the high school nutrition advisory council to get involved. These students offered some suggestions and actually distributed the food in the middle school to kick off the grab–and–go program. As a result, breakfast participation increased by at least 40% the first year. With the addition of Mr. Hume, breakfast participation rose even higher (close to 50%). In addition to the "breakfast with the principal" program, Joyce incorporated grab–and–go for certain events such as Student Appreciation Week, National School Breakfast Week, and testing days. Breakfast participation remained relatively

Results:

The children have a great relationship with the principal and great respect for the cafeteria staff. Joyce and her staff enjoy listening to the children and, in some instances, providing something important that they may not be getting at home. The Mahanoy Area School District free and reduced percentage is 63%. Joyce feels the nutrition some of the children are receiving here is much needed and appreciated!

Future Events:

"Breakfast with the principal" will end in April, but plans are already underway to have it again next year. During the month of May, Joyce and her staff are going to introduce a "spring into the day with nutrition and fitness month." Free breakfast will be offered to everyone. Mr. Hume is willing to adjust schedules to allow a reasonable amount of time for breakfast. If the month–long promotion proves to be a success, this will be a district–wide program next year.

What Would You Do Differently Next Time:

Joyce would like to encourage the other district principals to have a similar program. They have had many other breakfast programs within the district, and the principals have been very supportive. The high school principal has had some breakfasts with the student council and honor society. Likewise, the elementary principal has joined the children in breakfast events.

Advice For Others Who May Want To Try This:

Bring a group of children together to form a Nutrition Advisory Council. Put together a detailed analysis of the wants and needs of the student body to get the support of your principals and superintendent. In the end, it is difficult for principals and superintendents to argue against numbers on paper and the voices of the students.

Quotes:

"I attribute the success of the program to the motivation of the children, the cafeteria staff, and the administration. My most fun with the programs is when the students are directly involved." — School Food Service Director

"I think it is our responsibility to make sure the children receive nutritious meals, but it is so nice to see everyone having a great time." — School Staff Member

"Great French toast sticks!" — Student
"I hope there is enough for seconds!" — Student

"The best scrambled eggs!" — Student

"Mr. Hume, you're awesome!" — Student
"Thank you Ms. Ciarla!" — Student

"Nutrition is education. Breakfast is a very important start to a day of learning." — Teacher

"A special breakfast program serves to offer an opportunity to feel connected to the school. A feeling of connectedness in middle school–aged children enhances a positive culture, which in turn strengthens the learning environment for both teachers and parents." – School Administrator

"I can't remember the cafeteria being this much fun and offering so many options when I was in school." — Parent

"Thank you for the nice things your staff does for our children." — Community Member

Math and Nutrition

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An On-line Activity Report Submitted by Katie Leach

Objectives

To measure amounts of salt, sugar, and fat in foods sold in the school snack shop, as well as to find the healthiest choices for snacks.

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Math & Nutrition :: Sample Caption

Math & Nutrition :: Sample Caption

Math & Nutrition :: Sample Caption

Math & Nutrition :: Sample Caption

Math & Nutrition :: Sample Caption

Math & Nutrition :: Sample Caption
 

Who, What, Where ...

Contact Person:
Katie Leach
Teacher

Email:
  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone:
570-427-8689

FAX:
570-427-8918

School District:
Weatherly Area School District

District School Name(s):
Weatherly Middle School

School Address:
602 Sixth Street
Weatherly, PA 18255

School Location:
Northeast Pennsylvania

School Size:
Around 800 students

Community Description:
Rural

Origin of Activity

As a teacher and mother of three, Katie was appalled to see students rejecting nutritious meals for all kinds of junk food. After reading an article in Family Fun magazine about a mother who measured out some of the ingredients of her child's food to show its nutritive content, Katie came up with the idea to measure the ingredients in the school's snack shop foods.

Target Audience:

Grades 3–8, parents and teachers.

Materials Used:

Scales
Petri dishes
salt
sugar
shortening
glass vials with lids
box lids
tape
labels
items from the school snack shop

Costs:

Most equipment was borrowed from one of the school's science teachers. The salt, shortening, and sugar cost approximately $5.

People Involved:

• Four students
• Food Service Director and her staff
• A Weatherly Middle School science teacher
• Katie Leach – a teacher at Weatherly Middle School

How Project Was Exhibited:

Each snack shop item was displayed with its actual salt, sugar, and fat (shortening) content measured out for the students to see.

Description of the Activity

One sample of each snack sold in the snack shop was obtained. The school’s "Math and Nutrition" team members looked on the back of the packaging for each item and recorded the calories, the salt, the fat, and the sugar content for one serving. The salt and shortening was measured in Petri dishes for each item. The sugar was measured and placed in a vial with a lid. Each Petri dish and vial was labeled with the amount in grams for one serving. Each snack shop item was taped to a box lid and surrounded with the corresponding salt, sugar, and fat containers

The team gathered baseline data by recording everything that was purchased from the snack shop for three days before the display was put up.

On display day, the boxes were arranged in groups outside the doorway of the snack room. All the ice cream varieties (just the wrappers!) were in two boxes, the chips and pretzels were together in another box, and so on. A bulletin board with charts containing the information the team collected was posted behind the boxes. The empty spaces surrounding the charts were covered with all the wrappers collected during the course of the project.

To test the effectiveness of the display, student store purchases were recorded again for three days after it was taken down. Students made charts and graphs to represent the results.

Results:

Data collected before and after the display was up were compared. Results of this comparison indicated that the display did not have as much impact on student buying habits as was hoped. Sales of high fat ice cream went down significantly, which was the most obvious change resulting from the project.

A major victory for this project came three months after the initial display. The school nurse organized a health fair. Three of the "Math and Nutrition" displays of the snack shop items were presented at the fair. Accompanying the displays were samples of fat-free and/or low calorie alternatives. Fair attendees could taste the fat-free and/or low calorie items, which were very well received. Judging from their comments, (see below), there was a big change in the awareness of food content. Katie hopes displays like this will lead to more healthy eating habits.

The math component of this project was a fantastic tool. Through weighing the items, calculating the highest and lowest amounts, and charting and graphing, the students had an opportunity to hone skills they will always use.

This project has provided the students with a way to affect their own nutrition environment: the snack shop has offered more healthy items since the project began. “They have had kiwi and mangos, and baked (not fried) chips. Other healthy items are on the way.” Says Katie, “I really praise our head of the cafeteria, Vicky Stahr! She keeps working on healthier choices!”

Future Events:

Plans for next year involve candy and soda. Although these are items not sold in the school snack shop, they are popular among students. Katie wants the students to keep watching what they eat, and to use their math skills in weighing, comparing, and graphing.

What Would You Do Differently Next Time:

Katie would like to set up the "Math and Nutrition" exhibition on a day less far in advance of the health fair.

Advice For Others Who May Want To Try This:

• Be careful with the sugar! First, put the sugar in a pouring device ... the sugar flowed so quickly that we were taken off guard and had a big mess to clean up.
• This is a messy project, and the shortening is hard to work with. Fill a large freezer bag with shortening and squeeze out what is needed rather than trying to scoop it out.
• Have the school nurse and cafeteria director be in on things from the beginning and be careful not to criticize items in the cafeteria.
• She would also advise putting lids on the items in the Petri dishes since some students tried to touch the shortening.

Quotes:

"This project went very well. Students, teachers and staff are more aware of the fat and calories! They are definitely more conscious of what they are eating." — Vicky Stahr, School Food Service Director
"Students really enjoyed the demo. They learned a lot from it, it really heightened their awareness 100%." — Donna Miller, School Staff Member
"It was a good way to show students what kinds of food they eat. I was surprised to see how much fat was in the food." — Brandi Lech, 8th Grader
"This was eye-opening and very well received!" — Rebekah McFadden, School Nurse
"Students were amazed to see a full days worth of fat from their snack food." — Margaret Brown, Teacher
"The visual effects made a realistic impact. They could actually see the fat that would go into their bodies." — Tony Crimaldi, Middle School Principal
"Very informative. The material was presented well." — Community Member

 

 

High School Breakfast

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An On-line Activity Report Submitted by Garry R. Dixson

Objectives

1. To start a breakfast program in the Jr/Sr high school.
2. To maintain a participation rate of 20% or more for the school district.
3. To provide a nutritious breakfast for high school students.
4. To provide a breakfast for all students regardless of their socio-economic background (high free and reduced count).
5. To enhance the learning process of H.S. students.

Who, What, Where ...

Contact Person:
Garry R. Dixson
Food Service Director

Email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone:
724-254-4332, ext. 19

FAX:
724-254-9450

School District:
Penns Manor A.S.D.

District School Name(s):
Penns Manor Area H.S.

School Address:
6003 Rt. 553 Hwy
Clymer, PA 15728

School Location:
Southwestern Pennsylvania

School Size:
1050 students

Community Description:
Rural

Origin of Activity:

When Garry Dixson was interviewed for the position of food service director for Penns Manor School District. During the interview process, Mr. Dixson learned that a school board member was interested in starting a breakfast program for the high school. The super-intendent and the business manager were also interested. They all felt the need to feed more students, especially those who qualified for free and reduced price meals. They were aware of the benefits of breakfast, especially the boost to learning, and they knew they could generate additional funds by starting a high school breakfast program. It also just made sense to them that if the elementary students were being offered breakfast, the high school students should also be offered breakfast.

Target Audience:

All High School Students in the District.

Costs:

While expenditures naturally rose due to the need to buy more food and related supplies, the increased costs associated with providing the high school with a breakfast program have been offset by the benefits the program has produced. Of course, participation in the school meals program has increased, bringing with it higher rates of government reimbursements. Add to that the health and educational benefits experienced by students who eat breakfast, and Mr. Dixson believes his program is well worth the cost.

One potential new cost that Mr. Dixson deftly avoided was labor. His high school is attached to the only elementary school in the district, so the elementary foodservice workers who come in to serve breakfast to the young students simply come an hour earlier, now, to also serve at the high school. These same people then leave work an hour earlier in the afternoon than they did before the high school breakfast program started. Mr. Dixson’s solution to the labor question is a testament to the creativity and flexibility demonstrated by foodservice departments when facing barriers to school breakfast success.

Promotion:

Mr. Dixson employed several methods to promote the new program, including announcements, a newsletter, and the school menu. What he thinks brought the most business was word–of–mouth promotion. He talked to students in the hall about the program, much the way restaurant managers meet with their guests. He encouraged student athletes to eat breakfast because 1.) athletes need good nutrition and 2.) athletes are usually leaders, so other students would eat breakfast if the athletes did. In all cases, Mr. Dixson emphasized the social aspects of breakfast-time and how students could benefit socially by participating.

The other branch of Mr. Dixson’s word–of–mouth campaign was the Student Council’s Cafeteria Committee. He advises these students, who meet once a month. Several members of the committee are enthusiastic about breakfast and they helped him to promote the program and recruit customers. He told them to spread the word that it would be “cool” to eat breakfast at school. Mr. Dixson appealed to their pride, too, with the challenge that as student leaders, they could expect others to follow their lead in eating school breakfast.

People Involved:

• Food Service Director (Garry Dixson)
• Cafeteria Staff
• H.S. Principal
• H.S. Vice-Principal
• Superintendent
• Business Manager
• Student Council Cafeteria Committee

Description of the Activity:

Mr. Dixson used the existing elementary breakfast program as a model for the new high school program. Both could be considered "traditional" in that the students eat in the cafeteria before classes begin. A quality meal is provided, with more options at the high school than at the elementary level. Mr. Dixson makes sure to include foods that are student favorites, which entice even the older students to participate.

Experimentation with different formats for serving breakfast has yielded varied results. At one point, the elementary breakfast was served to everyone, all–at–once, right after they got off of the busses. Participation dropped sharply during this phase, and Mr. Dixson met with students to learn why. It turned out that many had stopped coming for breakfast because they were not able to take personal items to their lockers before going to the cafeteria. Students (and their parents) objected to the need to keep these items with them while they ate breakfast. They also felt that the lines were too long when everyone was in the cafeteria at the same time. To correct these problems, the students now come to the cafeteria for breakfast in three shifts:
1.) Grades K–2 still come directly from the buses.
2.) Grades 3–6 go to their lockers and homerooms first, then to breakfast.
3.) pre–K students eat breakfast last.

Mr. Dixson has conducted other experiments that have been successful from the start. For instance, because students enjoy variations in the menu, he has devised a system to keep breakfast interesting for them. His system, however, is a little different from those at most other schools. He has found that his students like to know that he serves the same items every Monday (French Toast), Tuesday (Pancakes), and Wednesday (Breakfast Pizza). Thursday and Friday are the days when he varies what is served and he tries new items. In addition to this system for varying the menu, Mr. Dixson also has alternative items every day, such as cereal and yogurt, to accommodate students who want school breakfast but don’t like the advertised items.

Results:

1. Participation has grown over 3 years. Slow the first year, starting at 10 or 11 students per day, now the average participation rate is 130 to 160 students per day.
2. Maintained a participation of 20% or greater for the district. Current monthly average is 23 – 25%,recently as high as 30%.
3. Received recognition as a ?star performer? in a breakfast study conducted by the PA Hunger Action Center.
4. Generated additional revenue for the foodservice department.

Future Events:

Mr. Dixson expects the program to continue at the high school. He hopes to continue to increase the rate of participation by continuing to meet with students, to inform them about the program and motivate them to participate. He also continues to get more promotion ideas from students, including from the Cafeteria Committee members.

What Would You Do Differently Next Time:

If he had it to do all over again, Mr. Dixson would start with a free breakfast for every student during the first week, to better promote the program.

Advice For Others Who May Want To Try This:

• Meet with students to promote the program.
• Make it a social activity.
• Give them what they like and want.
• Give them multiple options every day.
• Heavily promote the program to popular students and athletes. If you get their support, others will follow.
• Don’t be afraid to make changes to the program.

Quotes:

"It’s rewarding to start a program and have it become successful. It’s also rewarding to know that you play an important role in the educational process of the students and their overall health." — Garry R. Dixson, School Food Service Director

Parent Helps Improve School Website

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A Parent Best Practice

Objectives

Kevin and Cindy revamped the site with the following objectives in mind:
1. The public will be able to find Foodservice Department information, such as staff photos, student account data, menus, and a description of the program.
2. The site will provide access to this positive information about the department in a professional-looking format.
3. Community involvement with the department will be encouraged.

Who, What, Where ...

Principal People Involved:
Cindy O'Hora, Parent
Kevin Oswald, Foodservice Director

Email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone:
570-372-220

FAX:
570-372-2241

School District:
Selinsgrove A.S.D.

School Address:
401 Eighteenth Street
Selinsgrove, PA 17870-1198

School Location:
Central Pennsylvania

School Size:
2947 students

Community Description:
Small town

Origin of Activity:

Parent Cindy O'Hora met Food Service Director Kevin Oswald at a school board meeting. Cindy was new to the area and offered to use her web development experience to help the district improve its web site. Kevin was very busy and wanted the Food Service web pages updated, so he took Cindy up on her offer.

Target Audience:

Students, their families, the community.

Costs:

Because Cindy donated her time and expertise, and because the computer equipment and district personnel were already in place, there was no additional cost to the school district for development of these web pages.

Results:

1. The Foodservice area of the Selinsgrove A.S.D. web site now features the following: • General School Lunch Program information
• Café Pre-Pay access
• Free and Reduced Price program information
• Monthly breakfast and lunch menus
• Department staff photos and names, by building
• A list of foodservice-sponsored promotions/fun activities
• A description of program funding
• Student credit information
• Contact information

2. Cindy can now easily update the site as needed from home.
3. Cindy's knowledge and appreciation of school foodservice has changed "100%!" She is now aware of the department's efforts to provide variety and quality and to meet the needs of students with special dietary needs.

Quotes:

"It is very important for parents to be involved with their school districts," Cindy advises. "I believe that our district strives to provide quality meals. When parents are involved they appreciate how the programs operate and learn how the students' meals are paid for. By being involved, parents have opportunities to provide input about menus. The eating environment can also benefit from parental support: there is more 'order' in the cafeteria if someone's mother is walking around!"

"I can be a better activist for my children by being more informed about nutrition practices in school," she states. "I have taken action against mixed messages and empty nutrition. I have an issue with using food as a reward. The children should earn 10 extra minutes of recess instead of parties."

"The schools need better fundraisers. Parents need to step forward with ideas. We need to support the shutting off of vending machines. Students will object to changes, so it helps the district if there is advocacy with parents and taxpayers."

Parents Take a Stand for Good Nutrition

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A Parent Best Practice

Objectives

The Philadelphia parents fought for resolution of nutrition issues on several levels:
1. Overall, the parents in Philadelphia wanted to promote good health practices to children while they are in school by controlling the nutrition messages found there.
2. The parents saw the possibility of a contract with Coca-Cola detrimental to the nutrition standards they belived were appropriate for schools where their children could be easily influenced. Therefore, they sought to prevent the district's acceptance of the soft drink contract offer.
3. To do so, they needed to influence school board policy, which required a show of strength in numbers and belief in the correctness of rejecting the contract offer.

Who, What, Where ...

Contact Person:
Pat Albright
Roslyn McQueen
Jill Saull
Parents

School District:
The School District of Philadelphia

School Address:
21st & The Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1099

School Location:
Southeast Pennsylvania

School Size:
214,350 students

Community Description:
Urban

Origin of Activity:

Three parents became involved in issues related to school nutrition through different routes, then merged their energies with those of the city-wide Home and School Council and the school nutrition Task Force of the Philadelphia Food Trust. This organized strategy resulted in positive changes to the nutrition environment in several pilot schools and the district's rejection of a contract offer from Coca-Cola.

Target Audience:

Primary: School board
Overall: Students, school personnel, other parents, the community.

Costs:

A lot of time preparing for and in meetings.

Strategies:

Pat Albright
Pat's concerns about school nutrition began when her child was attending nursery school. She eventually learned about the Coke contract while serving on the city-wide Home and School Council and joined with other parents (see "All Together" below) to convince the school board to reject the Coke contract. Pat believes it was important for her son to see 1.) her high level of involvement in a cause she felt strongly about, 2.) that the cause was to benefit his health, and 3.) that her group's efforts resulted in success.


Roslyn McQueen
The Home and School Council brought Roslyn together with Pat. Roslyn believes that children can learn to make healthy choices when they are young and "teachable". The thought of the district having a contract with a soft drink company convinced her that it was time to rally community support for healthy practices in school, to match the practices she enforced in her home. Her son has health problems that she helps him to address by following a healthy diet at home and in school. She therefore made time in her busy schedule to attend Council meetings, and eventually, the school board meetings about the contract.


Jill Saull
Jill learned about the Coca-Cola contract proposal by way of a notice she received from The Center for Commercial Free Public Education (CCFPE). She found Pat Albright, they joined forces with Roslyn and other concerned parents, and a campaign was born. Eventually, Jill's involvement took an additional turn when she was invited to join the city's school nutrition Task Force. She was the only member of the group who was invited to act as a representative for parents. The Task Force wrote a nutrition policy that was eventually approved by the board. It was also responsible for initiating environmental changes to promote good nutrition in the schools.


All Together
Pat, Roslyn, Jill, and other parents followed a suggestion by the CCFPE: testify before the school board against the soft drink contract. Support was rallied by conducting a campaign consisting of flyers, phone calls, petitions, letter-writing, and visits to Home and School Meetings. A large group of parents then visited the school board to explain why they believed it would be wrong to sign the Coca-Cola contract.

Results:

The board rejected the contract. There are suspicions that the decision against the contract was for fiscal reasons (not a high enough revenue for the district) rather than in consideration of students' health. "But," says Jill, "this put the issues on the table. The public saw and understood what was going on. There is more parent participation at school, now, as a result."

Go for the Greens

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An On-line Activity Report Submitted by Sandy Traister

Objectives

To tie an annual school project in with PANA’s “Go For The Greens” event. Students of the 6th grade gifted ACE (Academic Challenge Enrichment) class prepared and promoted a menu for a celebration on March 17th (St. Patrick’s Day). This project provided the ACE students with a way to encourage their classmates to eat more greens.

Who, What, Where ...

Contact Person:
Sandy Traister
Food Service Director

Email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone:
724-756-2030

FAX:
724-756-2121

School District:
Karns City Area School District

District School Name(s): Bruin Elementary
Chicora Elementary
Sugarcreek Elementary

School Address:
1446 Kittanning Pike
Karns City, PA 16041

School Location: Western Pennsylvania

School Size:
1800 students

Community Description:
Rural

Target Audience:

Every elementary school student.

Costs:

Less than ten dollars total. Burger King donated 52 crowns, which were decorated with glitter, etc. by the students.

Promotion:

With flyers sent home to parents, posters, and daily PA announcements.

People Involved:

Food service director, elementary gifted class teacher, elementary cafeteria staff, elementary gifted students, and to a lesser extent, the elementary school principals and classroom teachers.

Description of the Activity:

The students wrote the following paragraph:
“One of the activities the ACE class does each year is to create menus for the elementary schools. We always follow the traditional menu planning of our school. The 6th-grade ACE decided to go with the theme “Go For The Greens” this year. Our menu included chicken salad with a variety of veggies, a garlic breadstick and a juice pop. We had a contest at each of the schools. We got 52 crowns and decorated them. A boy and girl from each grade were judged to be the King and Queen of the green. The contest was to see who wore the most green on March 17. We, as ACE students, got to judge the contestants. All participants who ate a school lunch received a small prize (a green friendship bracelet) for ‘going for the green’.”

Results:

There was fantastic participation by all the students. The students showed great creativity with their costumes. The cafeteria staff created a “river of greens” with many varieties of green vegetables that the students could serve themselves.

Future Events:

The elementary gifted class teacher would like to try planning this event next year. There is a likelihood that the format of a single King and Queen per grade will be dropped in favor of a different activity which can more effectively recognize the enthusiasm of so many of the students.

What Would You Do Differently Next Time:

"Not much, I think the students did a great job." — Food Service Director

Advice For Others Who May Want To Try This:

Plan, plan, plan. Try to envision difficulties and have responses for them. The participation for this event was so strong that it created some problems of its own. For example, the administration had difficulty agreeing on the “rules” (i.e. could hair be dyed green?) and the student-judges had great difficulty awarding so few winners due to the tremendous response.

Quotes:

"The response of the students was excellent. The cafeteria was a sea of green!" — Food Service Director "The students thoroughly enjoyed this event!" — Teacher

Milk Vending Machine

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An On-line Activity Report Submitted by Karen Carlson

Objectives

Provide healthy beverages at affordable prices via convenient school vending machine.

 

Who, What, Where ...

Contact Person:
Karen Carlson
Food Service Director

Phone:
570-253-2046

FAX:
570-253-1502

School District:
Wayne Highlands School District

District School Name(s): Honesdale High School

School Address:
459 Terrace Street
Honesdale, PA 18431

School Location:
Northeast — Wayne County

School Size:
1060 students

Community Description:
Rural

Target Audience:

High School Students.

Costs:

Cost of stocking the vending machine.

People Involved:

Wayne Highlands School Board
Dairy farmer and board member, Ed Brooking contacted Crowley Foods
Crowley Foods
Dairy Princess (Tiffany Schweighofer is excited to see milk available to students all day long.)

Description of the Activity:

Honesdale High School, in Wayne County, Pa, received a free milk vending machine from Crowley Foods in Binghamton, NY in September 2005. The 1060 students are enjoying the products, which are available right outside the cafeteria throughout the school day and after school. Different varieties of 1% milk; white, strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, and cappuccino, plus cider and orange juice, are consumed by students and staff alike. Decker's Dairy and the food service staff stock the machine on a daily basis. The price is kept low at $1.00- $1.25 per pint of product, and profits are added to the food service ala carte account.

 

 

The Family and Consumer Science class "Food and Fitness" taught by Deb Nurenberger, evaluated the products available in the milk vending machine. Nutrition labels were evaluated for added sugar and calories. Even though carbohydrate (60 grams) and calorie (400 kcal) counts are high, it was concluded that milk offers important nutrients to teenagers such as vitamins A and D, protein, and calcium.

Results:

Milk offers important nutrients to teenagers, such as vitamins A and D, protein and calcium, even though the carbohydrates (60 grams) and calorie (400 kcal) counts are high.

Cross Age Instruction

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An On-line Activity Report Submitted by Barbara Farley

Objectives

1. Teach seventh and eighth grade students about nutrition education, presentation, and planning.
2. Educate Kindergarten, first and second grade students on healthy eating habits.
3. Grade older students on research techniques, planning and presentation of class.

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Cross Age Instruction :: Sample Caption

Cross Age Instruction :: Sample Caption

Cross Age Instruction :: Sample Caption

Who, What, Where ...

Contact Person: Barbara FarleyFood Service Director

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone:570-459-3111 — Ext. 3131

FAX: 570-459-3220

School District: Hazleton Area School

District School Name(s): Hazleton Area Middle Schools

School Address: 1515 West 23rd Street Hazleton, Pa 18202

School Location: Northeast Pennsylvania

School Size: 9850 students

Community Description: Urban

Target Audience:

Elementary and Middle School Students.

Materials Used:

Five a Day Costumes and CD
Five a Day and Milk Matters Web sites
Food Guide Pyramid Posters
Healthy Snacks
Materials to create milk mustaches

Costs:

Snacks — about $10.00 per class
Milk mustache materials — about $10.00 per class
Five a Day Materials and Food Guide Pyramid — no cost

Promotion:

The seventh and eighth grade students were given a basic nutrition education lesson plan. They were then given the challenge of researching the topic and adding to the lesson plan. The students then went into the Kindergarten through 3rd grade classrooms and presented a nutrition education lesson to the younger students.

People Involved:

Students
Teachers
Food Service Directors
Media

Description of the Activity:

Students did lessons on Five A Day, Milk Matters, Pyramid Pizza and the Food Guide Pyramid.

How and Why Did the Activity Get Started

The idea was developed through discussion at a Wellness Council Meeting. The Wellness Council was trying to create ways to spread the word on wellness. The ideas evolved through foodservice and teachers discussing different ideas.

Results:

The cross instruction was a huge success. The younger students talked about it for days. They loved having their peers teaching the lessons. The older students enjoyed planning and preparing for the lessons. They really came up with creative ideas and enjoyed this class project. The teachers graded the students on prep, planning, and presentation of the event. This activity also received a lot of good community PR. The local news media coverd the event

Future Events:

This is something the district will be doing each year. It was beneficial to all involved and a great way to spread the word on healthy eating.

What Would You Do Differently Next Time:

"Not much, I think the students did a great job." — Food Service Director

Advice For Others Who May Want To Try This:

Work with the students ahead of time. Make sure they are creating lessons that are accurate and interactive. This is a really fun way to cover Nutrition Education and interact with the students.

Quotes:

"What a great way to spread the word on Nutrition. It was also a lot of fun to interact with the students on this project." — Food Service Director
"We never thought teaching would be so much fun!" — Students
"Thanks for the help. Our students really enjoyed seeing their peers." — Student
"I hope there is enough for seconds!" — Teachers

Breakfast Changes

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An On-line Activity Report Submitted by Frank Barba

Objectives

1. To increase participation in the school meals program.
2. To make breakfast available for students who arrive on late buses.
3. To take steps to reach a goal of providing breakfast in all district buildings.

Who, What, Where ...

Contact Person:
Frank Barba
Transportation and Food Service Coordinator

Email:

Phone:
814-724-3130

FAX:
814-724-5896

School District:
Crawford Central School District

District School Name(s):
First District Elementary
East End Elementary
Meadville Middle School

School Address:
Administration Offices
11280 Mercer Pike
Meadville, PA 16335

School Location:
Northwest Pennsylvania

School Size:
First District - 330 students
East End - 324 students
Meadville - 558 students

Community Description:
Rural

Origin of Activity:

Crawford County currently offers breakfast in 5 out of their 8 buildings. After Project PA's May 2004 teleconference detailing strategies to increase meal participation, attention has been focused on trying to serve breakfast in all 8 buildings. A new program was started in one elementary school. Another of the elementary buildings already had a breakfast program, but institution of a Grab and Go system at that school has notably increased participation. Students at the middle school had been offered breakfast at the attached high school's cafeteria, but the walk was long and few middle school students were participating. Therefore a separate breakfast program was begun for the middle school.

Target Audience:

Elementary and Middle School Students.

Costs:

New touch screen terminal for middle school cashier.
Addition of cashier and monitor at middle school to prevent food from leaving commons area (requested by principal) = Two hours per day of additional staff time.
Most other equipment (i.e. warmers and coolers) is being moved from the high school cafeteria daily until the middle school satellite kitchen is operable in November 2005.

Promotion:

In the beginning of the 2001–2002 school years Mr. Hume and Joyce decided on a schedule for the entire year. Each week an invitation was sent to a homeroom teacher inviting the class and teacher to have breakfast with the middle school principal after homeroom. The school newspaper ran a story promoting the program as well as the local newspapers, which published articles about the program and the importance of breakfast in the school system.

People Involved:

Food Services Coordinator
Food Service Director
Principals of schools involved

Description of the Activity:

East End Elementary School
Many students were arriving too late to eat breakfast in the cafeteria. After learning about Grab and Go at a principals meeting, the East End principal wanted to give that format a try. Details were worked out with the principal and food service director. A Grab and Go breakfast program was added to the school's already existing breakfast program in February.

Meadville Middle School
After a number of meetings with the principal to decide on the location of the serving line within the commons area, and after meetings with technology personnel to determine how communications with the mainframe could be established, the breakfast program at Meadville Middle School was successfully moved from the high school cafeteria to the commons area in the middle school. This made breakfast more convenient for the middle school students. Due to time constraints (a high percentage of students are bussed) and the distance involved (travel time to cafeteria), middle school students were not participating in the breakfast program. During the first week of breakfast in the middle school commons area, the number of breakfasts served started at 24 on the first day and increased to 63.

First District Elementary School
A brand new breakfast program was started at First District Elementary School. This principal had already worked in a building with a breakfast program, was intrigued by the Grab and Go concept, and was willing to give it a try. The first day, 120 breakfasts were served, indicating the great need for a breakfast program at this school.

Results:

East End Elementary - The school was serving 40 to 50 hot breakfasts per day in the cafeteria. With the addition of a Grab and Go option, 15 to 20 additional students get breakfast per day.
Meadville Middle School - Participation went from essentially 0 (with breakfast in the high school cafeteria) to 63 during the first week.
First District Elementary - Served 120 breakfasts the first day.

Future Events:

The two remaining elementary principals will continue to be encouraged to start breakfast programs in their schools. Nearly all of these students are bussed, making "Grab and Go" or "Breakfast in the Classroom" the most likely formats to work there. The principals of these two schools are somewhat reluctant to start a breakfast program as they think it will create a trash problem and take up too much instructional time from an already short day. However, the recent success at the other schools may inspire these principals to look past the possible negatives to instead see the benefits of school breakfast.

Advice For Others Who May Want To Try This:

Go for it. Parents, students, and teachers have all commented on the improvement in the attitude of students. Test scores are expected to go up and disciplinary problems are expected to go down as participation levels improve.

Healthy Food Show

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An On-line Activity Report Submitted by Kristin A. Melnick

Objectives

1. To provide students with healthy snack options and present healthy eating patterns and choices.
2. To raise awareness among parents, teachers, staff, and community of the growing problem of childhood obesity.

Who, What, Where ...

Contact Person:
Kristin A. Melnick
Food Service Director

Email:

Phone:
570-668-0979

FAX:
570-668-2970

School District:
Tamaqua Area School District

District School Name(s):
Tamaqua Area Middle School

School Address:
502 Penn Street
Tamaqua, PA 18252

School Location:
Southeast Pennsylvania

School Size:
500 students

Community Description:
Small Town

Origin of Activity

The event was used to "kickoff" the new Coordinated School Health Council. It introduced the group and raised awareness of their mission and it also provided students with a memorable and educational way to learn about the council.

Target Audience:

All 6th graders at the middle school.

Materials Used:

Donated foods from Feesers' and their vendors.
Food show ""Feesers" bags.
Linens for all tables.
Healthy Food Items.

Costs:

No cost to the school. All items were donated by companies, including prizes.

Promotion:

The event was advertised on posters and during the morning and afternoon announcements. Memos were sent directly to the 6th grade teachers, and the event was promoted on the cafeteria menu.

People Involved:

Food Service Director and Middle School Food Service Staff
Feeser Foods
16 vendors (all national name brands)
Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent
Middle school principal, 6th grade students, and their teachers
Dietitian from local hospital
American Cancer Society
Middle School PE Department
Local Family Practice Representative
WNEP TV 16
Times News

Description of the Activity:

The middle school cafeteria was set up like an actual food show. Vendors provided displays and food samples were given to all participants. Students were instructed to share the bags with their families and discuss the foods. Many discussed foods in the classroom with teachers afterwards.

Results:

The students, teachers, and staff all gave very positive feedback about the event. Free samples really grabbed the kids' attention while also serving as an educational tool. Afterwards, the students were given a list of five questions and asked to answer these questions in two paragraphs. The top ten submissions were chosen and prizes were awarded. The top five student food choices were placed on the menu and all bagged snacks were converted to Lay's "Baked Line."

Future Events:

This has become an annual event. In 2005 it is being done in conjunction with the middle school's Open House. This allows for more parent involvement and community awareness.

What Would You Do Differently Next Time:

Offer the event to the entire middle school instead of just the 6th grade class. Designate a whole day for the event, complete with exercise and other activities.

Advice For Others Who May Want To Try This:

Start planning early Vendors are willing to help and are a great tool to use: don't be afraid to ask for samples, products, etc.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Fair

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An On-line Activity Report Submitted by Barbara Farley

Objectives

1. To help children and adults understand the importance of eating "Five A Day."
2. To give information to the students about what nutrients are provided by different fruits and vegetables.
3. To introduce the students to healthier snack choices and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Who, What, Where ...

Contact Person:
Barb Farley
Food Service Director

Email:

Phone:
570-459-3111 (ext 3131)

FAX:
570-459-3220

School District:
Hazleton Area School District

District School Name(s):
Hazleton Elementary School

School Address:
1313 West 23rd Street
Hazleton, PA 18201

School Location:
Northeast Pennsylvania

School Size:
785 students

Community Description:
Urban

Origin of Activity:

The Food Service Department applied for and received a Fresh Fruit and Vegetable grant. They decided on the Fair as a good way to promote fresh fruits and vegetables.

Target Audience:

All students in the school, kindergarten through 6th grade.

Materials Used:

Fresh fruits and vegetables
Puppets
Fruit and vegetable decorations
Variety of nutritional handouts for all students

Costs:

The cost of the event was covered by a Fresh Fruit & Vegetable grant the school received from PDE. The total expense was approximately $3,000. The McDonald's contribution was donated to the Fair and not paid for with grant funds.

Promotion:

At the elementary schools, the Grab and Go breakfast was promoted in notes sent home to all students one week before the program began. At the middle school, announcements were made informing the students of the change in breakfast location for a few weeks prior to the change.

People Involved:

Food Service Directors
Food Service Employees
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Penn State Cooperative Extension
Nutrition, Inc. Regional Chefs and Dietitian
McDonald's
Susan Klein, Ventriloquist

Description of the Activity:

Planning the Event
Food service directors Barbara Farley and Vicky Stahr developed a plan and met with the school's principal to plan the event. They contacted presenters and provided them with brief guidelines for the message they wanted to send to the students. Barb and Vicky then met with all of the presenters and discussed each booth. The day before the event the gym was decorated and all of the booths were set up.

Booth 1
Sponsored by the Department of Health, Jeanette Stephanick spoke with the students about being Heart Healthy. She discussed the importance of drinking water and exercising daily. She also showed the students a sample of what five pounds of fat looks like. She briefly discussed the Food Guide Pyramid and stressed the fruits and vegetables in particular. Each student received a bottle of water, a bag of grapes, and handouts on living a healthy lifestyle.

Booth 2
Georgia Farrow, from Penn State Cooperative Extension, provided students with a recipe for stir-fry. She showed the students a variety of fresh vegetables and discussed their nutritional contents. All students were provided with samples of the stir-fry.

Booth 3
Nutrition, Inc. regional chefs Kevin Rindock and Lyle Kerrick displayed a variety of fresh fruits. They introduced the students so some uncommon fruits and vegetables such as pomegranates, artichokes, and blood oranges. The students were given samples of all of the fruits. Kevin and Lyle also spoke with the children about the nutritional value of different fruits and vegetables and talked with the students about the importance of eating five a day.

Booth 4
Nutrition, Inc. regional dietitian, Patty Baresse, and Mary Ellen Oswald, from McDonald's, talked to the students about healthier choices that are offered at this fast food restaurant. They explained to the students that they can order a side salad or apple dippers in place of fries, and milk, juice, or water instead of soda. They also talked about the salad choices and grilled chicken as opposed to breaded chicken or burgers. Ronald McDonald visited with the students and all the students were provided with dippers as a treat.

Ventriloquist Susan Klein provided students in grades K through 3 with a puppet show in the library. The topic was healthy snacking and eating a healthy breakfast and lunch each day.

Nutrition Inc. foodservice directors, Barbara Farley and Vicky Stahr, and others, provided assistance at all the booths and talked with students, teachers, and staff about healthy snacking and promoting good eating habits to the students in the classrooms as well as in the cafeteria.

Results:

The outcome was terrific! The kids had many questions about fruits and vegetables and they are now eating fresh fruits and vegetables at lunch and as a daily snack. The amount of fruits and vegetables the students are taking with lunch has doubled since last year.

Future Events:

The school plans to continue promoting healthy snacking and to help teachers provide good nutrition education to all of the students. The hope is that this event can be provided again next year with even more information.

What Would You Do Differently Next Time:

Each booth had a group of students for 15 minutes at a time, but 10 minutes may have worked better. The gym was very loud, so setting the booths up in classrooms could help reduce the noise.

Advice For Others Who May Want To Try This:

Have fun with this. The students loved the entire day and they received valuable information.

Quotes:

"What a wonderful day. It is a great way to get the message of living a healthy lifestyle out to the students. Everyone worked so hard to make this day a great success." — Barb Farley, Food Service Director
"Just to see the smiling faces of the students makes all the hard work we put into this event worthwhile." — Delores Bevans, Cafeteria Manager
"Can we do this every year? We loved everything about it." — Hope Kinny, Student
"The puppet show was terrific. I could not believe how attentive the students were. Susan Klein really had the students mesmerized." — Ann Marie Dileberto, 2nd Grade Teacher
"This was a very successful event. The students and staff all appreciated this great day." — Maureen DeRose, Principal

High School Grab-N-Go Breakfast

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An On-line Activity Report Submitted by Kirk McIntosh

Objectives

1. To increase breakfast participation rate from 20-22% to 30% within one month of initiation of the strategy.
2. To serve breakfast to a larger number of students who are eligible for free and reduced price meals.

Who, What, Where ...

Contact Person:
Kirk McIntosh
Food Service Director

Email:

Phone:
724-254-4312 (ext 4032)

FAX:
724-254-0225

School District:
Purchase Line School District

District School Name(s):
Purchase Line Jr/Sr HS

School Address:
16559 Route 286 Highway East Commodore, PA 15729

School Location:
Southwest Pennsylvania

School Size:
1,200 students

Community Description:
Rural

Origin of Activity:

Kirk McIntosh wanted to increase breakfast participation, especially among the students eligible for free and reduced price meals. There were two obstacles to overcome:
A. cafeteria space was not available to feed the number of students he wanted to get breakfast to.
B. when he asked the high school students what would enable more of them to eat breakfast at school they told him that time was the primary barrier for them.

Target Audience:

Seventh through 12th grade students in one high school building.

Costs:

Two more hours of labor at $9.73/hour.

Materials Used:

Paper products to wrap and carry food items.
No equipment was purchased.

Promotion:

The Grab-N-Go Breakfast was promoted through the school newsletter and during announcements from the office.

People Involved:

High School Principal
Superintendent
Business Manager

Description of the Activity:

A Grab-N-Go Breakfast station has been installed where students get off of the buses to enter the building. Three to five different entrees are offered each morning.

Results:

After one month of operation, when a 38% participation rate was achieved, the initial goal of increasing participation to 30% was exceeded. The average number of breakfasts served each day had jumped from 143 to 221.

Future Events:

Purchase Line Junior/Senior High School will continue to serve the Grab-N-Go Breakfast. Kirk has another goal: he hopes to one day be able to provide free breakfast to all students in the district.

What Would You Do Differently Next Time:

Each booth had a group of students for 15 minutes at a time, but 10 minutes may have worked better. The gym was very loud, so setting the booths up in classrooms could help reduce the noise.

Advice For Others Who May Want To Try This:

Try this. If you can get the support from the district, it will be worth it to the students as well as the district.