International School Meals Day 2014: Celebrating the Importance of Nutrition, Health and Learning Worldwide
Visiting schools around the country to discuss the importance of health and nutrition with students and educators is one of the favorite parts of my job. Today, I had the opportunity to share these nutrition messages globally! On this day, USDA recognized the second annual International School Meals Day (ISMD), where schools around the world celebrate by promoting healthy eating and learning. This year’s theme was “Food Stories.”
I joined students and staff at Watkins Mill High School, an International Baccalaureate World School in Gaithersburg, Md., to highlight the occasion. There, a select group of students from the International Cultures and Cuisine class shared their school food and nutrition experiences via Skype with other high school students from Acklam Grange School in Middlesbrough, England.
During last year’s inaugural ISMD celebration, some American classrooms were virtually connected with schools in Scotland to share their school nutrition experiences. The modern-day connection included Skype, e-mail, and a “culture in a box” package exchange. These connections offered an opportunity to bring learning activities to life and draw students around the globe together to emphasize the benefits of good health and nutrition – and their relationship to learning. The ingenuity of the dedicated teachers was impressive. These committed educators leveraged the experience by connecting the subject matter they were covering – whether science, history, geography or math – to discussions on food and nutrition.
Our hopes for a better tomorrow rely on our kids’ education and their ability to grasp the cultures that unite us. I’m hopeful the children in every school will learn about their own local foods and their origins, and I’m grateful for the schools and teachers that educate our future leaders about the world’s foods, cultures and traditions during International School Meals Day. Let me know how your school celebrated the event at http://www.internationalschoolmealsday.com/share-practice/, especially the food stories told through the eyes of students.