With the help of Roots in the City grower and project manager Maggi Pons, we met a few weeks ago with Principal Catalina Flor of Phillis Wheatley Elementary School in Overtown to see how we might all work together to activate Chefs Move to Schools, part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign to raise a healthier generation of kids in America. Chefs Move to Schools engages chefs to help teach students and parents about nutrition, and making balanced and healthy choices.
Principal Flor’s enthusiasm was inspiring. She immediately invited us to have a booth at Back to School Night/Open House (tonight!) to share information on the program and plans for the school year with parents, specifically that:
We are inviting them to participate in a Planting Day at the school whereby they will clean the school’s existing garden beds and make new ones.
The herb and vegetable garden will be incorporated into math and science curriculum, with support from Principal Flor. We feel that this will teach the children, and subsequently the adults, how to assume ownership of project and the caring and growth of herbs and vegetables from seedling to harvest. The garden will serve as a teaching tool in the short term, with the long term goal of creating healthier cafeteria meals that meet the school’s dietary guidelines and budget.
Chef Michael and his team will periodically visit the school to cook and show that it is EASY and TASTY to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into one’s daily routine. A taste of what’s to come will be offered at the Open House — samples of fresh heirloom tomato and green bean salad from Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink.
Roots in the City will also offer to host the children for educational field trips to the grounds and weekly farmers market.
We’ll keep you posted on this work in progress!