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Chittick ElementaryNational Green Week 2009 Second Place Winner
Chittick Elementary School
Mattapan, MA

Here's Chrissy Carroll, Nutrition Educator, had to say about the Green Week projects:
I work for the University of Massachusetts Extension Program (Family Nutrition Program in the Boston Office) as a Nutrition Educator.  Our largest partnership is with Boston Public Schools, where we teach a 4-6 week series about healthy eating and physical activity to grades K-12.  The National Green Week activities were completed with grades K-5 at the Chittick Elementary School in Mattapan, MA in conjunction with the nutrition education program (connecting the concepts that healthy foods are better for your body and the environment).

We had several projects and activities during NGW.  On Monday, I decorated the school with a NGW banner and posters of healthy plant foods.  We also had posters about the health and environmental reasons to choose locally grown foods.  In addition, a copy of the curriculums from the NGW website (K-1, 2-3, and 4-5) were put in the teachers lounge for teachers to get ideas about supporting NGW in their classroom.

On Tuesday, I visited each kindergarten, first, and second grade classroom.  Each was taught a lesson about the connection between healthy foods and the environment.  We discussed how healthy foods like fruits and vegetables are grown outside, and plants help our environment.  We also discussed how fruits and vegetables don’t need packaging, so it creates less trash.  I read the children the story “Tops and Bottoms,” about the gardening adventures of a hare and a bear.  We talked about the story gardens and compared it to our school garden.  The children then colored “Eat a Rainbow” booklets, with pictures of each color fruits/vegetables.

On Wednesday, I did a cafeteria promotion with all grades.  I hung up poster paper with different phrases related to being green – “I will recycle!”, “I will garden!”, “I will eat healthy foods!”, and “I will conserve energy!”.  During lunch time, children signed the posters to pledge to do that action.  Each child also participated in a special activity called “Local Foods Fear Factor!”  Children spun a wheel with 5 different foods pictured, and whichever one the pointer landed on the child tasted.  All foods fruits/vegetables that grow locally at some point throughout the year in New England - apples, peppers, butternut squash, New England pears, and mint leaves (graciously donated by Shaw’s supermarket).

I also visited each 4th and 5th grade classroom one week prior to Green Week to inform them about a NGW essay contest.  The topic for the contest was “How Healthy Foods Help Our Bodies and the Environment”.  On the Friday of Green Week, I collected the essays.  I received over 40 essays from the five classes (impressive considering this was an optional contest)!  I selected three “top winners” who were given prize packages that included a reusable red sox shopping bag, a children’s book about going green, a science kit, and other various incentives.  However any student who submitted an essay was given a small prize.

Here are a few essays from students on National Green Week and protecting the environment:

Stephanie D.
Grade 5 – Ms. Eddington’s Class

A food that is healthy for our body and the earth is apples.  An apple is healthy because it contains Vitamin C and that improves your immunity.  It helps the earth because it’s grown on trees.  Carrots and almonds help our body because they contain Vitamin A and E which helps our eyesight and they also have minerals.

Natioanl Green Week 2009 Winner
Another food that is healthy for our body and helps the earth is dairy products.  It helps because it contains calcium which builds strong bones and teeth.  It helps the earth because it comes from cows.  Fish is good for us because it gives you protein which helps our body grow.  But then people have to kill the animals.

Foods that aren’t good for us is cookies.  It is not good for us because it has a lot of calories.  It’s not good for the earth because you have to use machines and then the gas goes into the air.  Those are the foods that are good for us and not.

Yanelee P.
Grade 4 – Ms. Czaja’s Class
Candy is not good for you because it makes you hyper and it has too much sugar.  Candys are made from factorys.  The factorys have machines and they have too much energy and it effects the environment.  The smoke from the machines go into our fresh air and then the smoke makes the air dirty.  When you eat candy every day it can mess up your teeth and it can make you gain a lot of weight.  Fruits is better than candy because it is grown in the environment and because fruits don’t have as much sugar.  Our fruits have minerals and fiber; candy has a lot of calories like a small candy bar has 120 calories.  And candy does not have minerals or fiber.  Fruits have Vitamin A and Vitamin C.  When the dirty air goes to our fresh air that is called pollution.  Also, candy has bunches and bunches of sugar.

Grade 4 – Ms. Noe’s Class
If you eat healthy it helps the environment because if you eat healthy your body will have nutrition and iron.  Eating healthy helps your skin, brain, eyes, and muscles.  It also helps the environment because you plant and if you have a garden that is helping the environment and for instance if you have two or three gardens and plant a tree you are also putting oxygen back on the planet.  And you could recycle the package that some healthy food comes in.  A lot of your strength comes from eating healthy.  Like if you could remember all or a lot of your addition or subtraction or multiplication or even all three you probably eat healthy and that’s how eating healthy helps your brain.  Eating fruits and veggies help your skin that’s why you have smooth skin.  And some fruits and veggies help your eyesight.  Eating meat helps your heart and muscles and it has iron in it.  I love animals and if you have a garden many animals could live there.  Like insects and birds and rodents and squirrels.  And if you have left over food you could put it in your garden instead of wasting it and the worms and snails and ants will thank you for it.  That’s why eating healthy helps you and your environment!

David A.
Grade 5 – Ms McKoy’s Class
Healthy foods will change the world and people will be less obesity and have less diseases, and people would live longer and healthier lives.  And it will change the world by less littering.  Example if a little kid eats a bag of chips most kids throw the bag on the floor, and it just doesn’t worsens the the kids life it also makes our world full of trash.  So if you eat natural foods it will help you and help the world.  And that is how eating healthy foods help the earth and help you.