Schools To Participate In Various Nutrition-Based Programs

According to information presented at the August 3 board of education meeting, funding for the following was approved:
• Elementary schools in Chestertown and Rock Hall will participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the second year in a row. $50 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables annually was secured for each student in these two schools. Based on October 2008 data on school enrollment, Rock Hall Elementary School can spend up to $10,650 through the end of June 2010, while Garnett Elementary School’s allocation works out to be $11,000.
• The elementary and middle schools in Chestertown and Rock Hall are participating in the Maryland Meals for Achievement Program, which provides nutritious breakfasts every school day at no cost. Studies show that students who have eaten a good breakfast are better equipped to learn and are more attentive. Last year, MMFA reimbursed the Kent school district $45,373.
• Garnett Elementary School secured $32,830 in an equipment assistance grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The money will be used to construct a serving line in the cafeteria.
• The school district received $39,560 in stimulus money to purchase an outdoor dual walk-in cooler and freezer unit with masonry cutout and concrete pad. The grant also will fund the electrical connection and removal of old plumbing.
• Kent received $45,000 in a Team Nutrition Grant for its elementary schools. The money is being used to purchase education materials. Teachers and principals have prepared lesson plans that follow the health education voluntary state curriculum, according to Kalmanowicz. Throughout the school year, as often as one day a week, Kalmanowicz is hoping to offer taste testing at Millington and Worton.

Kalmanowicz said cafeteria managers will attend training sessions on menu preparation using the state-approved dietary guidelines and will work with the Maryland State Department of Education to continue to evaluate and create school menus that meet all guidelines.