PPS Wins $11,760 Grant, Hosts “In Shape and In Season” Program!

As we mentioned in our April 16 CSD Spotlight feature, Porters Point School was awarded an $11,760 grant from Fletcher Allen Health Care’s Community Benefit Fund to support a program aimed at reducing childhood malnutrition and childhood obesity.

And now that program is underway! To view a short video from the first session, which took place on July 23, click here.

The program, named “In Shape and In Season,” is a collaborative, family-based, multidisciplinary approach to nutrition and wellness that includes:

  • access to nutritious foods emphasizing seasonal produce
  • hands-on, interactive education in wholesome food preparation
  • engaging education about healthy physical activity, and
  • information about a variety of services available through area organizations.

We believe that, by fostering understanding about the benefits of good nutrition and exercise, malnutrition and obesity may be reduced over time. Research has shown that young people are also more likely to make healthier food choices if they are already familiar with healthy food, and they are more likely to regularly exercise if they are encouraged to do so—resulting in a lifelong impact on their health and well-being.

Along with Colchester School District’s administration and food service personnel, we have partnered with experts in nutrition (registered dietitian and professional chef Deana Novembrino) and childhood obesity (the University of Vermont’s Dr. Connie Tompkins) as well as with Hunger Free Vermont’s “the Learning Kitchen” to create the four-season In Shape and In Season program. A team of UVM master of nutrition and food sciences students will help to educate participants about the important long-term benefits of healthy eating, and exercise and movement science students will work with participants to explore a variety of family-friendly physical activities in order to encourage regular exercise in everyday life.

The program—which consists of a summer series and follow-up sessions in fall, winter, and spring—will ultimately serve the entire school community by further enhancing the meal offerings in our cafeterias because district food service personnel are involved.

In Shape and In Season will:

  • offer community cooking classes at Porters Point School taught by RD/chef Deana Novembrino and our food service professionals;
  • incorporate child-friendly recipes in order to encourage child participation, enthusiasm, and interest;
  • host family-style dinners with the participants immediately following the cooking classes;
  • provide additional professional training for CSD’s food service professionals, which will in turn benefit the school district’s meal offerings for the entire school community (currently, nearly 2,200 students attend our schools);
  • provide nutritious ingredients for preparation at home and informational take-home recipe booklets to the participants;
  • provide education about ways in which entire families can be physically active;
  • subsidize transportation costs in order to alleviate economic hardship associated with travel; and
  • provide on-site child care to alleviate economic hardship associated with participation.

Bags of recipe ingredients to be sent home with the participants

This wonderful opportunity aligns beautifully with a number of the pathways described in the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017. We are very excited about it!

PPS Principal Jim Marshall sports an example of an apron given to all participants

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