September is full of celebrations! First and foremost, it is Food Literacy Awareness Month, a resolution sponsored by California Food Literacy Center and authored by Assemblymember Roger Dickinson. We also are officially launching California Food Literacy Center with a big party on Sept 29! On top of all of the exciting activities, we are starting the new school year at Capitol Heights Academy with our curriculum “Your Sandwich can Save the World!”
As we embark on a brand new school year, we reflect on our work with 100 K-5 grade students last semester at Capitol Heights Academy. At the beginning of the program, we tested the kids on their food knowledge. We measure the results of our work to ensure we’re addressing attitude, knowledge, and behavior change. After three months of lessons, fun activities, and tasting various fruits and vegetables, we see significant changes in their knowledge and attitudes about food!
Here are some highlights:
Kindergarten and 1st graders showed a considerably high level of improvement!
- Pre-test: 82% of kids said that it doesn’t matter where our food is grown.
After three months: 88% said, “Yes,” it matters where our food is grown.
- Pre-test: 82% of children did not believe they could save money when buying food that is good for you.
After three months: 100% of kids said they could save money on healthy foods.
- Pre-test: when asked if healthy foods taste good, 82% of kids said “no.”
After three months: 100% of kids said “yes!”
2nd & 3rd graders showed significant changes in attitude towards food after 3 months!
- Pre-test: 49% of kids said healthy foods did not taste good.
After three months: 90% said healthy food tastes good.
4th & 5th graders are developing a taste for healthy foods!
- Pre-test: 53% of students said it did not matter where their food was grown.
Three months later: 85% said this was important.
- Pre-test: 44% of kids said that healthy food was expensive.
Three months later: 65% said they could save money by buying healthy food.
The most exciting detail we learned from our evaluation: over 70% of kids from all grades are going home and asking for the fruits and vegetables we introduced to them in class! They gave the examples of strawberries, blood oranges, grapes, and yes, even asparagus, celery and broccoli! We are so proud of them for trying new fruits and vegetables in class, and even more impressed that they asked for these healthy options at home.
We can’t wait to meet the new faces (and maybe some familiar faces) at Capitol Heights Academy! We hope to expand our program to more schools in the region, and we need your support! Join us in celebrating Food Literacy Month at the Food Literacy Fair on Sept 22 and our launch party on Sept 29. Learn all about what we do and why we do it, and meet our dedicated volunteers! Please donate to our cause so we can continue teaching food literacy to kids.
Thanks for making September a deliciously wonderful month!
Article by Heather Teoh
Edited by Amber K. Stott