Activities Meeting the School Wellness Policy Goals:
2015 National School Breakfast Week— Our theme: “Make the Grade with School Breakfast”. We want to highlight how eating a nutritious breakfast helps students achieve success in the classroom and beyond. Daily activities have been planned to keep clients engaged with our celebration, including a client art contest, a celebrity day (for modeling eating behaviors), a brief stretching routine before breakfast, and daily announcements by teachers-reminding students that breakfast gives them energy, it’s a chance to socialize, and it helps them do better in school.
2016 October Farm to School Month Celebration— At the Parry Center for Children; we celebrated October Harvest of the Month by incorporating the National Farm to School Month activities. Our goals were to recognize the importance of farm to school programs as a means to improve child nutrition, and educate children about the origins of food. We focused on four themes throughout the month: educational outcomes, healthy school meals, the school garden and the next generation. We utilized the NFSN communications toolkit to help promote National Farm to School Month and raise awareness about the value of connecting students with local food. We also utilized some of the resources on the NFSN website, including logos, posters, and fact sheets. We also designed and developed some of our own teaching materials and performed snack recipe taste testing with the clients.
2020 – The Parry center dedicated much time and energy into creating a safe space for students to eat. Since we are in a residential setting, we got creative in solving physical distance and capacity issues. We took the opportunity to educate the students about hand and surface sanitation at mealtimes and at all times. After lowering the total capacity of the building and moving the dish return area away from the line of traffic, We created unique physical distance floor spots, added multi-color directional lines/arrows and transformed the cafeteria in to a one-way eating experience that helps to limit close interactions between different groups but still allows for 5 groups of 5 at a time to be physically distant.
2021 – The Parry Center has upgraded the ventilation systems in the cafeteria to MERV-13 quality to ensure the safety of our students, staff, volunteers, and visitors. This is part of an ongoing effort to improve the cafeteria this year. In addition, We have replaced the menu white board with a more attractive and informational menu black board that explains what a healthy tray is and identifies the proper serving sizes. Our goal is to help the students learn what a “healthy” tray looks like and what it includes or excludes. We have even incorporated a bell that we ring when a students gets everything on their tray. Because we utilize the Offer vs. Serve program, which allows the student to choose what they will and will not take on their tray, this has encouraged the student to try new food items that they would otherwise have avoided and has really improved our vegetable consumption.