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Food Play Theater Program Comes to LFDCS PDF Print E-mail

Lawrence Family Development Charter School (LFDCS) is extending its projects in the areas of health and nutrition. A special priority for the school is increasing the School Breakfast Program. In addition to grant awards and donations this year from the Healthy School Food Champions program, Whole Foods, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Johnnie’s Seeds for its school-based gardens, the school brought to an audience of its Lower School students (Kindergarten through third grade) the dynamic show called FOOD PLAY. This fun-filled activity exposed students to eating habits as core to “healthy minds” and “strong bodies.”


According to Food Services Director, Mary Claire Kennedy, who arranged to bring FOOD PLAY to LFDCS, “In addition to educating our parents and students about health and nutrition, the school is training its Food Service staff on food promotion strategies based on Smarter Lunchroom Techniques.” Complementing this effort in past summers, school gardens increased awareness of food choices with gardening techniques in its Summer School program. The school currently has six Raised Bed Gardens located at LFDCS’s Lower School campus at 34 West Street, Lawrence, Massachusetts.


Like other schools across the country, on March 4 Lawrence Family Development Charter School teamed up with FOOD PLAY to empower children with more of the skills they need to take charge of growing up healthy and fit. FOOD PLAY, a national award-winning theater show promotes healthy eating and exercise habits by bringing its cast of colorful characters, fantastic feats of juggling, motivating messages, music, magic and fun to schools across the country.


While FOOD PLAY makes good eating great fun, its messages are very serious. So serious, in fact, that First Lady, Michelle Obama, has launched the nations first childhood obesity taskforce, designed to tackle the alarming rise in the number of overweight children. In the last 25 years, childhood obesity rates have doubled among elementary school children and tripled among teenagers. One in three children are overweight, and less than two percent of the nations youth are meeting their daily nutritional requirements. Kids on average are drinking over 600 cans of soda and consuming more than 150 pounds of sugar a year, missing out on recommended levels of fruits, vegetables and whole grains needed for optimal health.


FOOD PLAY introduces USDAs new MyPlate food guide, helping children learn to fill half their plates with a rainbow of colors from fruits and vegetables, choose GO foods from all five food groups and cut down on soda and sweetened drinks. Children learn how to see through TV commercials, decipher food labels and make choices that are good for their health and good for the health of the planet. As the children walk away to the beat of “Treat Your Body Right!FOOD PLAYs message is: feed healthy foods to your body, positive messages to your mind and have fun being active everyday! To extend the lessons throughout this coming spring, the school will receive a comprehensive Follow-Up Resource Kit filled with hands-on nutrition education materials for teachers, parents, school food service, health staff and students. Teachers receive activity guidebooks to help integrate nutrition into core subject areas and link cafeteria with classroom learning.


Founded in 1995, the Lawrence Family Developmentand Education Fund, Inc.'s Lawrence Family Development Charter School (LFDCS) is one of the first K-8 Commonwealth public charter schools. As a Level 1” public school for MCAS performance in 2012 and 2013, the work of the Lawrence Family Development Charter School is known for its best practices as a Massachusetts urban school. The school uses research-based practices for academic instruction and intervention and supplements this instruction with after school and summer school programs. TheFarm to School Initiative:Raised Bed Gardens use funding and partnerships for science and nutrition lessons in summer and after-school programs as well as to create modifications to its school menu. The school’s health and nutrition programs benefit from grants from the Massachusetts Departmentof Elementary and Secondary Educations Food Services and Title One, Whole Foods, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Johnnies Seeds.

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