Starmont Elementary is creating a school environment that supports healthy behaviors and aims to empower students through nutrition education, school meals, and engagement of staff, parents, and the community through a project with the Iowa Department of Education.
Starmont applied to be part of the Healthy Schools – Healthy Students project and was selected as one of the 20 elementary schools across the state to participate. The project includes monthly MyPlate nutrition education lessons and food tastings in the 4th grade classrooms led by Marsha Thomas, Food Service Director; Cafeteria Coaching, where older students eat school lunch with 4th grade students to serve as role models for healthy choices; school nutrition trainings; and changes to the lunchroom environment.
The project is funded by a USDA Team Nutrition Grant, administered by the Iowa Department of Education. The grant activities include technical assistance and training for school nutrition staff, nutrition education for students and caregivers, and creation of a school environment that supports healthful behaviors.
The University of Iowa is leading the evaluation that includes process evaluation to assess program implementation and effectiveness as well as outcome evaluation.
“The Healthy Schools – Healthy Students is a multi-component intervention that includes nutrition messages that are delivered through Team Nutrition’s communication channels to reach children where they live, learn and play,” states Carrie Scheidel, Team Nutrition Director at the Iowa Department of Education.”
Starmont Elementary will receive $2,380 for participating in the project. The funds can be used to make changes to the school wellness environment and cover the costs of the nutrition educator and taste test opportunities. Results of the project will be available summer 2018.