Morning and afternoon fresh fruit and vegetable snacks will be available in the fall on a regular basis at two elementary schools courtesy of several grants.
Both and elementary schools have received word that they will once again participate in the Illinois State Board of Education’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the 2012-13. In addition, Tibbott has also received the Whole Foods Foundation and FoodCorps School Garden Grant.
Neither school received any fruit and vegetable grants last year.
“This grant is very important to our students, staff and community,” said Ward Principal Ted Warpinski. “We plan on providing our students with at least three servings of fresh fruit and vegetables in their classrooms every week.”
Warpinski and his staff were able to raise money last year to provide less expensive snacks such as cereal, crackers and small oranges to students on an irregular basis.
“It just wasn’t the same as students receiving fruit or vegetables on a regular basis,” Warpinski said, recalling the value in having the grant two years ago. “Our students will now be able to focus more on academics instead of worrying about feeling hungry.”
Tibbott is planning a variety of nutrition-related activities that will be funded by the Fruit and Vegetable Grant. Plans call for third through fifth grade classes to make videos to help younger students realize the importance of fresh fruit and veggies. Students will also research and create riddles to be shared in morning announcements and posted in the cafeteria.
“Our students will learn about fruits and vegetables around the world as they are served a variety of items during the day,” said Principal Ana Wilson.
Tibbott, a school with a large Hispanic population, will use the Garden Grant to start a “salsa garden” that includes tomatoes, peppers and pumpkins.
“The garden will provide an opportunity to be a part of our school for parents who, because of their limited English, may not otherwise feel comfortable getting involved in other school activities,” Wilson said.
Editor's note: This is a press release from Valley View School District 365U.