Taste tests build food literacy, classroom harmony

Traci Jackson’s second graders can’t stop talking about food. They are bragging about family recipes for asparagus and recommending potato salad instead of French fries. They are demanding succotash at school and at home. And Michigan farmers are to thank for the students’ newfound fresh-food enthusiasm. Continue reading

Seed Sowing & Storytelling Brings Teachers, Students Together Around Local Food

Neha Shah, a teacher at Burn Parks Elementary in Ann Arbor Public schools, shares a story with her students every year. It’s Seedfolks, by Paul Fleischman, and it opens up to Kim, a 9-year-old Vietnamese American girl, trekking out in the early morning chill to plant lima beans in the vacant lot across from her apartment.   Continue reading

Try it Tuesdays brings local food to the classroom

  Parents are stopping Beth Kavanaugh in the aisles of her local grocery store to get tips on how to help their kids try new foods. That’s because Kavanaugh, food service director at Public Schools of Petoskey, has been successful in getting kids to try everything from black bean and corn salad to radish slaw at school. Continue reading

Fresh salsa spices up parent night

  FoodCorps Michigan Service Members are major allies for school districts in their efforts to promote fresh, whole foods. FoodCorps Service Member Sarah Perez-Sans hosted a make-your-own salsa activity for #10CentsAMeal grantee Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) during family night, where students and their parents measured ingredients together.

Students & teachers dine together

We're so inspired by 10 Cents grantee Food Service Director Dan Gorman's work in Montague Area Public Schools! Last Thursday, students and teachers at Nellie B. Chisholm Middle School shared a meal. Educators and students have the power to transform our food system when they come together around a communal table to share food and ideas.

Collaboration Across the State

Food service staff, educators, and others from Muskegon County made a “learning journey” to Traverse City in the fall to explore farm to school progress there. They discovered the professionally vetted farm to school lessons at Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District, and it was a highlight, said Deb Warren, who is coordinating farm to school program development in the Muskegon Public Schools. Continue reading

Role Models & Family at Boyne Falls

Boyne Falls Public Schools, a tiny school of 200 students, decided three years ago to hire a chef to run its kitchen. As a result, students are eating not only local produce, but also local meat. Chef Nate Bates, with funds from a grant, purchased a locally raised pig and smoked it for use throughout the year. Continue reading

Taste Testing in the Classroom

In Leland Public Schools, Laura Miller, Student Advocate and Farm to School Coordinator, connects kids in the classroom to what Food Service Director Dave Ruszel is serving. She provides them with samples of items he plans to make, such as winter squash soup and kohlrabi snack sticks. At the same time, she teaches them how the nutrients in the foods affect their health, and how and where they were grown. Continue reading

Career Tech Culinary Students

Elissa Penczar teaches Catering and Culinary Management at the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center operated by Muskegon Area Intermediate School District. She says tying her program to the expanded farm to school efforts made possible by 10 Cents a Meal* is a big win for her students who come from all of the high schools in Muskegon County. Continue reading

Educational Objectives

If a food service director serves beets*, how might classroom teachers get students excited about eating them while also meeting their own teaching schedules and objectives? In the Traverse City Area Public Schools and Boyne Falls Public Schools this year, they do so by tapping into a collection of lessons vetted by curriculum specialists at Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District. Continue reading