Texas Becomes the First State in the nation to legislate mandatory PE. Watch the CBS news clip.
Read the full story and enjoy the pictures. See the video: .
WE are back in the kitchen and gardens with them.
WON'T YOU JOIN US?
Are you interested in cooking, gardening,
or just in helping kids learn to lead healthier lives?
We need your help!
We invite you to learn more
about volunteering with Recipe for Success
attend a short
Volunteer Orientation Seminar
choice of four times--pick one
Wednesday, 5 September
12 noon-1:30 p.m. or 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Thursday, 6 September
9-10:30 a.m. or 2-3:30 p.m.
Neartown location will be confirmed when you R.S.V.P
please advise which session you will attend by emailing
Friday, September 28th
7:00 pm at The Aquarium in downtown Houston
SPECIAL GUEST CHEFS:
Charles Clark*, Ibiza Food & Wine Bar
Robert Del Grande*, Cafe Annie
Dinner Sponsored by: Downtown Aquarium & Whole Foods Market
The James Beard Foundation will
donate a small portion of the dinner's proceeds
to Recipe for Success Foundation. We are very grateful!
For reservations by telephone, please call (713) 524-8351
Practically the entire R4S staff descended on Austin in mid July to conduct a workshop for the Texas PTA Summer Leadership Conference. Topic: Establishing a Team Nutrition Wellness Committee in Your School. It was a great success and we look forward to more community outreach like this. In the coming months we will participate in the Town Hall on School Nutrition organized in Houston by Parents for Public Schools on Saturday September 15 and the Annual Hispanic Family Conference also in Houston on September 26th.
As more and more parents and teachers are becoming aware of the obesity epidemic, R4S is called on to discuss effective preventive measures and share best practices.
A camera crew from Houston PBS followed me around for a week last fall, from my own kitchen to one of our Chefs in Schools classes at MacGregor Elementary and beyond, all the while talking about what we are doing at Recipe for Success to combat childhood obesity. Afterwards the show's host, Patricia Gras interviewed me in the studios to get the full Recipe for Success story. Although I have not seen the finished product, the video production beautifully captured the energy of one of our Kids Cooking classes and the excitement of the children as they learned to prepare healthy new dishes. Hopefully you can either watch it or Tivo the show. It will be repeated Thursday, August 23 at 1:30 p.m.
Perfect timing to get you fired up to join us in the classroom or gardens this fall. See you there? Gracie
Wednesday, June 20 on KPFT 90.1 in Houston.
Gracie Cavnar will be a guest on Patricia Greer's "Open Journal" to discuss School Nutrition and our recent Recipe for Success programs.
The MacGregor Elementary School garden has made amazing transformations in just a matter of a month. I drew four garden designs, focusing on beds for each grade level and after school classes. After some design advice from Gracie Cavnar and Brad Stufflebeam, who owns and operates Home Sweet Farm and is president of TOFGA, the â€œSun and Moonâ€ design was approved for the garden by Dr. Patricia Allen, principal of MacGregor.
Board Member Glen Boudreaux of Jolie Vue Farms contacted Jimmy Gibson, of Gibson Landscaping Company, to scrape off the existing grass and level the area with sand. Mr. Gibson generously donated his companyâ€™s time and equipment for this invaluable service. Garden beds were staked, and on June 8th, 100 volunteers from PriceWaterhouseCoopers built the 19 raised beds.
Now we are in the process of laying irrigation to each bed. The next PWC volunteer work day is June 22nd. Come and join us as we finish up-- filling the beds with soil and laying sod in the pathways. During the school year, the students will beautify the garden with art, a sundial, and benchesâ€”and of course plant our first seeds. Itâ€™s been incredible to watch it all come together.
Thank you to the GLC crew, PWC volunteers, and RFS staff and board. It wouldnâ€™t be possible without you!
Recipe Gardens Coordinator
The heat index soared above 100 degrees on Friday in Houston, but hundreds of PriceWaterhouseCoopers employees worked from 8:00 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon to transform an empty 1/4 acre of MacGregor schoolyard into our first Recipe Garden.
20 raised beds will provide plenty of space for each class to experiment with growing fruits and vegetables, and provide a graphic lesson in our seed-to-plate curriculum. Next step, topsoil, irrigation, grass. We will all be back working on June 22 to finish the job.
The Farm and Food Policy Project (FFPP) has a new website where you can sign an online letter to Congress to show your support for policies which advance fresh, local, and healthy foods in the 2007 Farm Bill. The letters are sent to your Representatives and Senators based on where you live. Written to encompass a broad spectrum of ideas supported by the FFPP, the letter contains the following priorities:
-Expand initiatives to increase access to healthy affordable food, such as farmers markets and farm-to-school programs
-Help build a new generation of entrepreneurial farmers serving local and regional markets
-Ensure fair access to agriculture programs for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers
-Expand conservation and farmland protection programs to help farmers meet consumer demand for healthier, sustainably produced foods
Check out Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer website www.FoodAndFarmBillOfRights.com to read the Food & Farm Bill of Rights and many resources about the farm bill, including a blog written by the Congressman.
Want to know more about the Farm Bill and the reauthorization process? The Ag House Committee will finish mark up of the farm bill by June 30, so time is precious. In the May Food Chain, we let you know about â€œmarker bills,â€ and how you can mention specific marker bills to your legislators in order to call their attention to the aspects of food and agriculture policy that concern you most. To read more find out what you can do in these remaining weeks to make your voice heard, visit Slow Food's Farm Bill Resource Website and the Slow Food Forum.
Can you lend us any tools for the job? Sharon Siehl, our new Recipe Garden Coordinator would like to borrow wheelbarrows,
shovels, and flat metal garden rakes for installation day--June 8, when we are expecting 300 volunteers from Price Waterhouse Coopers to appear for the day, ready to work. With their help, we will transform a 35x150 foot stretch grass behind our Recipe for Success culinary classroom into 2 dozen raised garden beds where students from Pre-K through the 5th grade will be able to raise fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs. If you have tools we can borrow, please call Sharon at 713-307-7005 and let her know.
The only way we are going to really affect the long-term food preferences of our children is to abandon the idea of the KIDS MENU and begin offering them real food. Early exposure to a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and complicated flavor structures broadens their taste horizons, while automatically succumbing to the all-beige, fried Kids Meal on a regular basis will simply create a picky eater. David Kamp put it very well in his recent NYTimes article. Read it here.
Just in case you still think that we are out here doing a "feel good" project in our quest to turn the tide of childhood obesity, then take a look at this report from Texas Comptroller Susan Combs. Counting Costs and Calories Measuring the Cost of Obesity to Texas Employers will change your mind about the urgency of our work.
RfS conducted a Food Journalism Contest for all 425 fourth graders in our pilot schools. Ariana Jefferson, from MacGregor Elementary was the winner. Read her story about Great-grandmother Betty's Sweet Potato Pie. The students were asked to write about their favorite holiday food, its origin, traditions and how it was important to their family. There was a winner selected from each of our 21 classrooms, then 5 All-School winners, then the Grand Prize winner. Each winner received a gift certificate to Whole Foods and an award. As the Grand Prize Winner, Ariana also got to spend a day cooking in the kitchens of Brennan's Restaurant with Chef Randy Evans, after which her family and friends joined her for lunch at Brennan's Chef's Table.
You can download the May schedule here. We have 2 weeks jammed with classes before school is out on May 24. Many of the chefs are doing Mystery Box competitions that work like 1-2-3 Cook. The children are loving it; you will too.
Recipe for Success and Houston's finest chefs have been teaching fourth graders to cook all year--now is your chance to help and have fun at the same time. We're Cooking Now! a gala in small bites kicks off on April 10 at Brennan's. Explore and reserve your spot at www.recipe4success.org Twelve extraordinary springtime events feature the best food and wine prepared for intimate gatherings in private homes and wine cellars.
Love Kids? Love to Cook? Love to Help? or Love to hang out with Chefs?
Download our February volunteer calendar here. There are over 20 opportunities to get hands-on in February with our Chefs in Schools program. No cooking skills required, just enthusiasm for our goals of combating obesity by changing the way our children eat. Who knows? You may pick up a great recipe too!
See you in class!
The Recipe for Success Team
The causes may be complex, but according to Pollan, the solution is simple: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
I couldn't agree more.
Our Chefs in Schools program has hundreds of Kids Cooking in five HISD elementary schools. Roll up your sleeves and lend a hand! Work with your favorite chefs--no cooking skills required, simply enthusiasm, a love for good food and patience with children. To download our January 2007 class calendar, click HERE.
Spring 2007 is the time to build our Recipe Gardens. Got a green thumb? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to join the Recipe for Success Gardens Committee.
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There has been some concern about Susan Combs' move from the Texas Department of Agriculture and fear of backsliding on her progressive School Nutrition Policy for Texas Public Schools.