Literacy and Nutrition Curriculum Connection

BY Kara Yuen

Orleans Elementary School

Project Description
For the past several years, the library and cafeteria have collaborated each month to create thematic displays in the cafeteria, showcasing books which connect to nutrition, the featured food of the month, gardening and cooking with fruits and vegetables, and about how foods connect to units in the school curriculum. We want to enhance these displays by adding more books, decorations, and activities to deepen student awareness of literature on the topics of healthy eating and foods from different regions around the world. We also would like students to view the cafeteria as a place of learning about nutrition and diverse cultures.

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)
The project will be evaluated by heightened student interest in reading the books displayed and through evidence of students having greater awareness about different foods, interest in learning how to grow and prepare foods, and making healthier food choices.

Benefit to the students and the school
Orleans Elementary School embraces the philosophy that learning happens everywhere and all subject areas are integrated. The cafeteria is no exception to this. Even while students are traveling through the cafeteria line, they should be exposed to literature and given the message that reading is connected to everything they do, including eating. Likewise, students will learn how food is integral to every part of their daily lives and to every subject they are learning about, whether it is the importance of applying Math skills to cooking, the cultural significance of different foods all around the world, how to grow a vegetable garden, or how healthy eating helps with overall well-being.

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)
Each month a new display will be created, centered around the food of the month and curriculum units. The books to be displayed will be chosen based on their connections to the monthly topics.