Food. We eat it every day, but many young people have little understanding about where it comes from or how it came to be. We at FirstLine Schools believe you are what you eat, so let’s eat smart!
For Food Day this year, Edible Schoolyard NOLA targeted middle and high school students, staff, and families at all five FirstLine campuses to teach them about important food-related issues.
Green Charter School held the event in their café with over 10 activity stations, starring a variety of community partners, such as: Tulane’s Center for Culinary Medicine, Market Umbrella, and The New Orleans Food Co-op. There were food samples, including a highly popular African Peanut Stew served by ESY NOLA’s Budding Entrepreneurs team.
John Dibert Community School set up their tables outside for the school’s 8th graders, perfect on a sunny fall day. Each station explained one step of the food cycle: growing, distributing, and waste management. As an introduction, Jess Bloomer – Lead Garden Teacher at Green – taught participants about pollinators by offering a taste sampler of local honey.
Over at Arthur Ashe Charter School, Ruth Korsten – one of ESY’s Volunteer Coordinators through the LA Delta Service Corps – gave her account:
Kate McDonald from Second Harvest was showing Ms. Sivi Domango – Ashe’s Director – and Ashe 5th graders how much fat (using real lard... ugh) was in their favorite burger chain's product. It made quite an impact, and one boy I asked said it was his favorite station. That's saying a lot because the parfait stops are always the biggest crowd pleasers.
Pamela Yost, whose 5th grade grandson attends Langston Hughes Academy, said, “He is always so excited about the garden.” Students and parents milled around sustainable growing and healthy food choice tables in the Dreamkeeeper Garden. “He likes to taste vegetables; he tries bell peppers, and he says, ‘Maw-maw, we are going to start growing a garden.’ I try to get my grandkids to eat more fruits and vegetables, I’m trying to eat more fruits and vegetables.”
The scholars at Clark Prep High School also participated. Kathleen Duffy, the VISTA Outreach Coordinator placed there, gave this report:
FOOD DAY!!! Loved it. The turnout was fantastic at Clark, including students, faculty and staff. Students tried the smoothies and breakfast at both ESY tables. They loved Grow Dat, where many are now applying for a Spring/Summer 2013 program. Donnica Conway got some love at her Cooking Up Literacy At Home table, which offered scholars a great recipe book (a favorite was Green Eggs and Ham).
Whether participants walked away with a snack, a prize, or just a fun learning experience, there was no shortage of smiles throughout the day.