What: Celebration of Healthier US School Challenge Silver Award in recognition of National Farm to School Month
When: 1:15 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 20
Where: Colwyck Elementary, 12 Landers Lane, New Castle
Gov. Jack Markell and other state leaders and community partners will join Colwyck Elementary third-graders at 1:15 p.m. Thursday to honor Delaware’s schools -- including Colwyck Elementary that won a Silver Healthier U.S. School Challenge award -- and highlight the state’s Farm to School and Fresh Fruit and Vegetable programs. October is National Farm to School Month.
The Healthier U.S. School Challenge was established to recognize schools that are creating healthier school environments through their promotion of good nutrition and physical activity. Menus must include specific selections of fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, and low-fat or fat-free milk. Delaware had 23 schools from three districts that received HealthierUS School Challenge Awards. This gives Delaware the highest percentage in the United States with 11 percent of schools receiving the award. Today, First Lady Michelle Obama is hosting a reception in recognition of all U.S. schools. Delaware school managers from each of these schools and districts are attending.
|Seaford School District||Appoquinimink School District||Colonial School District|
|Silver Award Winners||Bronze Award Winners||Silver Award Winners|
|Blades Elementary||Alfred G. Waters Middle||Carrie Downie Elementary|
|Frederick Douglass Elementary||Appoquinimink High||Castle Hills Elementary|
|Seaford Middle||Brick Mill Elementary||Colwyck Elementary|
|West Seaford Elementary||Bunker Hill Elementary||Eisenberg Elementary|
|Cedar Lane Elementary||Wilbur Elementary|
|Cedar Lane Elementary||Pleasantville Elementary|
|Everett Meredith Middle||Southern Elementary|
|Redding Middle||Wilmington Manor Elementary|
|Middletown High School|
|Olive B. Loss Elementary|
|Silver Lake Elementary|
Also joining the third-graders will be Secretary of Education Dr. Lillian M. Lowery, Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee, USDA Deputy Director Special Nutrition Programs Barbara Martin and several community partners. Mary Fifer Fennemore of Fifer Orchards will share “The Fifer Farm History" with the third-graders, who then split into smaller groups for interactive activities involving fruits and vegetables. Thianda Manzara of Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids will lead the children in “Test your Veggie IQ Challenge” and Mid-Atlantic Farm to School Program Coordinator Alyssa Moles will lead “Apple Crunch Mayhem” apple tasting. Marvel Farms owner David Marvel, vice chair of the Delaware Farm to School Advisory Board and member of the National Farm to School Board, will host a fall vegetable tasting. Colonial also participates in the First Lady’s “Chef’s Move to Schools” initiative featuring Michael T. Barbas, executive chef and a Colonial parent.
BACKGROUND ABOUT THE PROGRAMS
HealthierUS School Challenge: In February 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama introduced Let’s Move!, incorporating the HealthierUS School Challenge into her campaign to raise a healthier generation of kids. The First Lady’s challenge for School Year 2010 – 2011 was for 1250 schools to be HealthierUS School Challenge award winners. The HealthierUS School Challenge was established to recognize schools that are creating healthier school environments through their promotion of good nutrition and physical activity and sets a very high standard for schools to qualify.Menus must include specific selections of fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, and low fat or fat free milk
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program: Operating in selected low-income K-8 schools in Delaware, The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program can be an important catalyst for change in our efforts to combat childhood obesity by helping children learn more healthful eating habits. The program has been successful in introducing school children to a variety of produce that they otherwise might not have the opportunity to sample. This school year, there are 69 Delaware schools that will receive $1,802,271 in grant funds from the Department of Education to operate their Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Programs.
Farm to School: Last November, Congress designated October as National Farm-to-School Month in an effort to increase awareness of local agriculture and encourage healthier diets among our nation’s students. The aim is to connect K-12 schools and local farms to promote healthy meals in school cafeterias, student nutrition, agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities, and local and regional farmers. This comprehensive program extends beyond farm fresh salad bars and local foods in the cafeteria to include waste management programs like composting, and experiential education opportunities such as planting school gardens, cooking demonstrations and farm tours. The program teaches students about the path from farm to fork, and instills healthy eating habits that can last a lifetime. At the same time, use of local produce in school meals and educational activities provides a new direct market for farmers in the area and mitigates environmental impacts of transporting food long distances. The Farm to School approach helps children understand where their food comes from and how their food choices impact their bodies, the environment and their communities at large.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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