One third-grade class at Highland Elementary School recently won a drawing for an all-expenses-paid field trip to La Semilla Community Farm in Anthony, TX, after the vast majority of the class completed a series of interactive nutrition worksheets through the Cooking with Kids Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) program.
“The Cooking with Kids lessons are funded by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) grant we receive and manage from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA),” said LCPS SNAP-Ed Program Manager Claire LeGault. “We created the take-home worksheets to engage with families by sharing some of what the students are learning in the nutrition lessons and providing different resources to help them prepare healthy foods.”
The Cooking with Kids program is designed to empower children and families to make healthy food choices through hands-on learning with fresh, affordable foods from diverse cultural traditions, according to the USDA website.
“We had a great time on our field trip to La Semilla,” said Francis Butler-Wood, third grade teacher at HES. “The staff was great with the students. The students experienced something new and learned about pollination and pollinators.”
To qualify for the field trip drawing, 75 percent or more of the students in each class had to complete nutrition education worksheets and return them to their teacher with a parent or guardian’s signature. Each time the class met the eligibility requirements for the drawing, up to a total of seven times throughout the school year, the class was entered in a drawing for the field trip.
The districtwide drawing was open to all elementary school classes and hosted by LeGault, who said she plans to continue the drawing and to get even more students, families, and teachers to participate next year.
The field trip featured several presentations from Liz Anichini, edible education program manager at La Semilla Community Farm, and FoodCorps Service Member Jesus Godinez. During the presentations, the class learned about the six plant parts (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruit, and seeds) and were able to sample each plant using the plants on the farm. The students also learned about pollination and the process of the flowers turning into fruits.
After the presentations, the students then went on a fruit tree and flower scavenger hunt and created “seed bombs,” groups of easy-to-plant wildflowers seeds.
SNAP-Ed is a federally funded grant program that supports evidence-based nutrition education and obesity prevention interventions and projects for persons eligible for SNAP through complementary direct education, multi-level interventions, and community and public health approaches to improve nutrition, according to the USDA website.
-LCPS Communications Coordinator Paul Dahlgren, firstname.lastname@example.org, (575) 527-5808