We recently recieved some updates from Shea Wilson, a County Extension Agent with Prairie County Cooperative Extension Services in DeValls Bluff, AR. She has done a great job partnering with the cafeteria director to implement the Foods of the Month Curriculum.
When they first received the curriculum in 2010, Shea met with the cafeteria director and introduced Foods of the Month. Because she approached it as a partnership to further the education the kids were receiving in the classroom, the cafeteria director was excited. Shea held a training for all of the food services staff that summer using the Core Kit Teacher Training DVD. This allowed everyone to understand the whole program and how they were contributing to the healthy lessons being taught in the classroom. Together they went through the FOM food services chart and brainstormed ways to incorporate those foods onto the monthly menus. Shea collected these ideas and sends monthly reminders to the cafeteria director based on the ideas her staff came up with.
They decided to kick off the school year with an OrganWise School Assembly and enlisted the cafeteria workers and PE teachers to dress up in fruit and veggie costumes and dance around the cafeteria. They kicked off the assembly by getting the kids up and exercising alongside their fruit and veggie teachers.
What we love the most about this story is the partnerships that have developed across the whole school to teach children healthy lifestyles. It’s easy for food services to get overlooked but if they are engaged in the right way, they can become some of your biggest advocates.
Thanks so much to Shea for sharing this great advice!