Park City Elementary School in Barren County is one of 137 Kentucky elementary schools selected this year to participate in a program that provides a daily fruit or vegetable snack to every student in the school, Jeff Nations reports for the Glasgow Daily Times.
“Right now we’re doing a lot of fruits, more than vegetables because it seems like our fruits are fresher right now,” Angie Morgan, Park City cafeteria manager, told Nations.“We’re doing bananas, apples, grapes, strawberries, pears — they really like the bananas, they love the grapes.”
“The teachers give the children jobs in their classroom, and (this program) gives a child a job,” Morgan told Nations. “They know that this week, it’s their responsibility to stop and pick up the fruit for the room.”
Teachers have flexibility in when to offer the snacks, with many of them at Park City Elementary incorporating it into daily reading time, Nations reports.
“It becomes almost like a home environment here at school, and they really see it as reading for enjoyment as opposed to reading for an assignment task,” Anthony Janes, Park City’s principal, told Nations. “If you look at data, if you read 20 minutes a day, then you can increase your vocabulary exponentially just by reading for enjoyment.”
Eventually, Park City Elementary plans to offer the students unfamiliar fruits and vegetables, which is one of the goals of the program..
“Many of our students just aren’t exposed to those options, and to say that they’re going to get kiwi or they’re going to get starfruit, I’m really excited about that for the kids,” Janes told Nations. “It’s an opportunity.”
Students at this elementary school who don’t want the snack are asked to place it on a sharing table in their given classroom and any fruits or vegetables not eaten at the end of the day are given to the Run Club for their after-school snack.