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April 2012: More NSLW 2011 Celebration Reports

In “Oh, the Places We Grow!,” an article in the April 2012 issue of School Nutrition, Melissa J. Grant spotlights the ways that numerous schools and districts throughout the country celebrated National School Lunch Week 2011. As part of the “Let’s Grow Healthy” theme, school nutrition professionals helped children to make the connections between agriculture, meals and health. Keep reading below for some additional celebration reports.

Characters and Creativity
National School Lunch Week brought some characteristic fun to Saint Louis (Mo.) Public Schools. Four elementary schools received a visit from the Chartwell characters Theodore Eat, Sydney C. Learn and Ava Live. Ford Elementary School students gathered in the cafeteria to ask questions about nutrition and receive warm hugs from the friendly animal characters, while Theodore, Sydney and Ava joined Jefferson Elementary School students for some physical fun during recess. At Dunbar Elementary School, the characters brought a fresh veggie salad for the students, who watched Ava Live and Theodore Eat compete in an impromptu dance challenge. At Wilkinson Early Childhood Center, the characters brought the students a fresh fruit salad.


Ava Live, Theodore Eat and Sydney C. Learn share a fresh vegetable salad with a school nutrition staff member from Dunbar Elementary School, St. Louis, Mo.

School nutrition staff members at Toano (Va.) Middle School created a bulletin board with a tree showing ways to grow healthy, from drinking more water to eating more whole grains. Do-it-yourself prizes are a triple win. They are fun to make, fun to give and fun to receive. Joan Uzunoff, head cook at Woodland Elementary School, Mansfield, Ohio, organized a nutrition-themed coloring contest for students. The winners received a colorful fleece blanket that Uzunoff made herself.


The icy cold season isn’t stopping Toano (Va.) Middle School from growing healthy.

Parents Pick
National School Lunch Week always has been a time when parents join students for lunch. As parents move through the lunch line, picking their nutritious choices from the menu, school nutrition programs happily calculate an increase in participation. The school nutrition team at National Hills Elementary School, Augusta, Ga., served more than 100 parents during NSLW—“Let’s Grow Healthy.” In the Great Lakes region, more than 80 parents participated in Take Your Parents to Lunch Day at Sky Oaks Elementary School, Burnsville, Minn.

Seaford (Del.) School District’s school nutrition staff served more than 350 parents among four of their elementary schools. At West Seaford Elementary School and Blades Elementary School, students created paper t-shirts that reflected healthy eating habits. The schools’ principals selected five of the shirts to be judged at the district office. The winning design was then made into a shirt for nutrition services staff members to wear in their cafeterias.