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Food Education at Franklin Avenue Elementary, Los Angeles

Educator: Kelley King

School: Franklin Avenue Elementary School, Los Angeles, CA

Subjects: Cooking and Nutrition

Grade: Kindergarten

Number of students: 24

 

How are you teaching about food, health, and sustainability?
I am a room parent volunteer that helps kindergarten students with cooking and nutrition projects. Our school has a zero waste policy and is trying to raise funds for a school garden, but food-wise it relies on LAUSD meals. I am trying to talk with kids and parents about bringing in healthy alternatives to the school lunch.

How does Nourish fit into your curriculum?
I played the DVD (parts of it) to my daughter’s kindergarten class last school year. This school year I am trying to arrange a screening for school families. I may also present it to individual classrooms. Nourish is very watchable for small children even if they don’t understand all of the concepts presented. In addition, it is a gentle yet thorough approach to the problems in our food world, so it makes for a great classroom tool.

What activities, projects, or inquiry questions have students engaged in?
After watching parts of Nourish, the kids tasted carrots of all different colors, looked at many-colored potatoes, and smelled mint varietals. Afterward, we reviewed the new Choose My Plate campaign from USDA.

What effect has Nourish had on your students’ understanding of food system issues?
Nourish introduces the idea to small children (and anyone really) that you can question the food you are eating: Is it healthy, made of real ingredients, and good for the animals, people, and land that produce it? It gets kids interested in their food beyond just taste and fuel to play.

What conversations have resulted from using Nourish? What are some next steps?
After screening the extras on the Nourish DVD, the kindergarten students were very interested in talking about the faces they recognized from TV (Jamie Oliver, Alice Waters), as well as what they called the bad foods (soda, fast food) and the foods they thought looked tasty.

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