RSI Corporate - Licensing

How schools in Brazil are teaching kids to eat their vegetables

PRI – Rhitu Chatterjee

“On a hilly slope in São Paulo City, a group of sixth graders is busy at work. They’re armed with seeds, soil and a range of gardening tools. Upside-down soda bottles, filled with water, outline a series of rectangular garden plots. A boy named Felipy Pigato tells me they are preparing the soil for planting…The vegetables they grow are used in school meals. But the real aim of the school garden is not to supply ingredients, he says, but to teach students where food comes from, so they can develop a connection to their food…Just like in the US, highly processed foods like fast food, soda, and high-fructose corn syrup have become all too popular here in Brazil. And obesity rates are rising, even among children. It is a nation-wide problem that has alarmed the government and public health experts in the country.”(more)

School Gardens for Beginners: Advice from Common Ground’s Jill Keating Herbst

Education World – Keith Lambert

“School garden programs are on the rise: certainly a growing trend! Teachers and academic communities across the globe are capitalizing upon the hands-on experience, curricular connections, and natural engagement these projects can inspire in students. However, to the agricultural novice and green thumb alike, the idea of initiating such an endeavor can certainly feel daunting.”(more)

Introducing fresh vegetables to school menus could soon get easier for Louisiana schools with this new program

The Advocate – AMY WOLD

“Nine-year-old Jamie Nava took a glance at his lunch at Dufrocq Elementary School Tuesday and thought it included some funny-looking eggplant, but on closer inspection, he realized it was sweet potatoes — not from a can but freshly roasted from the oven with a little bit of sugar on top. Proudly wearing a sticker saying he had tried the sweet potato, Jamie said he liked it. It’s the kind of reaction LSU Agricultural Center staff have been working toward during the first year of a pilot project called Harvest of the Month to test how to get fresh fruits and vegetables into school lunches. Starting with just three schools, Dufrocq, Andrew H. Wilson Charter School in New Orleans and North Bayou Rapides Elementary School in Alexandria, the pilot program has run its course in East Baton Rouge Parish. However, it appears to have paved the way for schools next year to get a choice on whether fresh sweet potatoes will be on the menu. Ann Savage, extension associate with LSU Agricultural Center who has been running the program, said the school system plans to put sweet potatoes on the bid list each month, and individual schools can choose whether to serve fresh or canned.”(more)

Math in the Garden

The Atlantic – Nadra Kareem Nittle

“As class got under way on a recent fall morning, the first-graders Jessica Brimley teaches at Los Cerritos Elementary in Long Beach, California, still hadn’t mastered the concept of estimation. When Brimley told the children they’d be using the technique, a boy’s hand shot up to ask for a definition. But Brimley wasn’t just going to give him the answer or point him to a dictionary. Instead, she used nature to demonstrate; after all, her classroom isn’t indoors, but in the school’s 48,000 square-foot garden, an approach teachers at Los Cerritos and elsewhere are using more and more to engage students…Los Cerritos teachers use the Urban Farmyard to teach math, science, history, and language arts—all, unsurprisingly, with an environmental bent.”(more)

More Students Are Eating Locally Sourced Food

The Washington Post – Emily Richmond

“Students in public schools are eating healthier cafeteria meals made from an increasing array of locally sourced food, according to new federal data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA surveyed school districts to evaluate the impact of “Farm-to-School” programs in place at over 42,000 campuses. More than 10,000 districts provided input—a response rate of 60 percent on the survey. Among the findings: Nearly $600 million in locally produced food was purchased by schools in the 2013-14 academic year, a 55 percent increase over 2011-12 (when the first Farm-to-School census was conducted).”(more)