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EDUCATION REPORT - A School Where Children Learn to Eat Better

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Teacher Hannah Chen during a 3rd grade math class at E.W. Stokes Public Charter School in Washington, DC
Teacher Hannah Chen during a 3rd grade math class at E.W. Stokes Public Charter School in Washington, DC

This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

About one-fifth of Americans age six to nineteen are considered overweight. To reduce those numbers, some schools are teaching children to make better food choices.

TEACHER AND STUDENT: "So I can have spinach and what, who can give me one combination. Spinach and --  Diego?" "Eggplant?" "Eggplant. Spinach and eggplant. So here is my first combination."

Hannah Chen is teaching the eight and nine year olds in this math class in Washington how to make sets.

HANNAH CHEN: "We just incorporated food into different types of combinations, like with the pizza we had two types of toppings that the kids can provide, and figuring out the different combinations using those toppings."

The EW Stokes Public Charter School has started to include food topics in its third-grade math and English teaching. The school formed a partnership with Seedling Projects, an environmental group in San Francisco, California.

Peter Nalli is a curriculum director for the program called Farm to Desk. He says they are doing this in part to address the issue of childhood obesity.

PETER NALLI: "One of the main components of our program is our belief that if kids are exposed to positive and healthy messaging about food throughout the instructional day, that has the most potential to impact long-term change."

School chef Makeisha Daye says the school buys most of its food from local farms, but the students grow some themselves.

MAKEISHA DAYE: "They are replanting everything now so that we will be using fresh herbs, fresh vegetables straight from our garden. So, the children, they love it."

Teacher Hannah Chen agrees.

HANNAH CHEN: "We have a salad bar at the school, and now the kids love the salad bar. They love the fruits and vegetables. So I think it is making a big difference in their lives."

She says the third graders have also learned to read the sugar and fat content listed on food packages. She says the EW Stokes Public Charter School in Washington plans to expand the Farm to Desk program to other grades next year.

Charter schools get public money but do not have to follow the same rules as traditional public schools.

Many charter schools have specialized areas of study -- like Environmental Charter High School near Los Angeles. Students learn the importance of protecting the environment. Rigo Estrada says he used to be the kind of person who threw trash on the street.

RIGO ESTRADA: "But now that I have seen firsthand videos, I have done beach cleanups, I have helped develop like water-catchment systems, I have taught elementary schools like the importance of water conservation, I know the importance of green and that it actually is a really serious topic."

Students also learn how to prepare a business plan that they can use to help pay for college. They learn from teachers and outside experts like Nancy Gale. She owns an environmentally friendly business that makes handbags.

NANCY GALE: "The idea behind the program is that if these kids see what they can do together and what they can accomplish, that they recognize that their skills extend into the same real world as kids that go to successful private schools."

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, available online at www.unsv.com and on the VOA Learning English on Facebook. I'm Steve Ember.

网友的学习评论(10条):
作者:zhou ping
The public school in america started a course named farm to desk in order to reduce numbers of issues of childhood obesity. at the beginning, the teacher let kids know and divide type of combination about fruits or vegetables or others that make foods in the class so as to they are interested in foods.
作者:zhou ping
in the next place, learning to read nutrition component content listed on food packages. in the end, let the students try personally to pant vegetables . they love to grow themselves because that is fresh and interesting. eating more vegetables have benefits of your body health.
作者:elenaxufeng
as we all know,obesity can lead some diseases,such like high blood presure,diabetes and so .For one thing,it will do the harm to us ,for another thing,it will bring much more inconveniences. And generally speaking,if we are overweight,our image will also be infulenced,as nowadays,it's a tragedy society,As i see it ,the method used in america school is feasible in some aspects,not only teaching students on classes,but also in practising, above all, action makes the difference.
作者:chensj
it is a very good method to teach students how to eat and eat very well.
作者:menwei
Obesity is a big problem for us ,because of lack of execise and eating too much junk food.as we know, the number of obesity in children is increasely growing, we should take some actions to solve this problem.
作者:thornbird
That's the way teaching children!
作者:rain
Yes ,obesity is a serious issue.if you are overweight in childhood it's harmful for your growing.you ought to pay more attention .frist ,choice suitable food and no more junk food.second,take more exercise."farm to desk".i wannaed.
中国应该学习这种先进的教学方法!
作者:Jenny C
Do the students learn all the knowledge in that school or that's just a kind of institution?I mean,students should learn like, math or physed.
作者:chuttle
if kids are exposed to positive and healthy messaging about food throughout the instructional day, that has the most potential to impact long-term change
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