Saint Petersburg, FL – On Thursday, November 14th, 200 school children at Sanderlin and Campbell Park Elementary schools skipped the Cheetos and sugary juices and dined on edamame salad, squash risotto, dipping vegetables, and chick pea dip. What caused this phenomenon?
t’s no mystery – it’s a new program, developed by the Edible Peace Patch Project in partnership with All Children’s Hospital’s Fit4All Kids, called The Wellness Kitchen.
The Wellness Kitchen is designed to bring information about wellness and nutrition to elementary schoolchildren through learning culinary skills right at their school. The program connects the vegetables that the kids have grown in the school yard gardens to the preparation of healthy recipes. This includes education from how the plants grow to information on how to prepare and cook the vegetables. After the dishes have been prepared and tasted, the students are guided out to the gardens to place their vegetable scraps in the compost pile, nourishing their garden with remains of the food they had grown and eaten. The Peace Patch coordinates the logistics with the schools, arranges for volunteers and provides program oversight and administration. All Children’s provides the program guidelines, the recipes and food and a chef who teaches the kids to prepare menus with vegetables that are being grown in the schoolyard’s Peace Patch garden. This is part of a Peace Patch farm to school program that is focused on educating young children about food literacy.
Future Wellness Kitchen days are scheduled for December 12th and 13th and January 16th and 17th.
About The Edible Peace Patch Project:
The Edible Peace Patch Project (http://peacepatch.org) is a not for profit organization based in St. Petersburg that uses schoolyard educational gardens and food system intervention to address health and educational needs in St. Petersburg’s most at-risk public schools. The Peace Patch began in 2009 when a group of college students convinced their professor, Dr. Kip Curtis, to help them learn to grow food. In exchange he asked them to build their own classroom on the schoolyard of one of the most at-risk elementary schools in the county and offer standard-based lessons to the kids who visited them. Four years later Dr. Curtis and his students are cultivating four gardens, with plans to add four more in the coming school year as well as build an urban farm and commercial kitchen on the south side of St. Petersburg. Test results show higher science scores because of these gardens and anecdotes about boys not only staying in school, but also beginning to do award-winning work.
About All Children’s Hospital/ Johns Hopkins:
All Children’s Hospital is committed to helping families in our community and addressing the childhood obesity epidemic. Fit4Allkids was developed in 2004 by our team of Pediatric Specialists and has since then offered support and guidance to thousands of families in the Tampa Bay Area. Fit4Allkids is more than just weight management. Our experts see the value and importance of prevention for children of all ages. We strive to provide our families with the latest information on nutrition, fitness, mental health and the most current trends.
Since 2007, Kohl’s has been supporting the efforts at All Children’s to help families learn about nutrition and preparing healthy meals. Under the Kohl’s grant, All Children’s offers fun and interactive classes and events that encourage children to make healthy choices and teaches them basic culinary skills so they can assist the family in making tasty and healthy recipes.
Children are the sole focus of All Children’s Hospital and its million-square-foot St. Petersburg, FL campus devoted to pediatric specialty care. The ten-story, 259-bed hospital and its adjacent Outpatient Care Center replaced an existing 42-year old facility just two blocks away. All Children’s understands that it’s not enough to treat disease – that true progress comes from teaching and research to cure disease. All Children’s Hospital is the newest member of Johns Hopkins Medicine and is the first U.S. hospital outside the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. region to achieve this distinction. We are working together on new approaches to research, education and treatment to develop new therapies and achieve the best outcomes for Florida’s children.
Dr. Curtis, Campbell Park and Sanderlin teachers and some of their students are available for interviews at the Wellness Kitchen days.
Representatives of the media are invited to visit any of the Wellness Kitchen events and interview/photograph participating students. Please contact Kip Curtis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 727-320-6822.