...Two years ago, when she left her post as PTA president, she told the administration she would like to start a wellness committee. Not only that, she said she wanted to dive in head-first and tackle the very profitable snack program at the elementary school, which had a list of almost 50 snack items that were full of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.
When Ms. Regnante asked for parents to join the committee, she ended up with a gold mine of volunteers who brought diverse experiences, perspectives and expertise. Among them is Ms. Sorak, whose family follows a conscientious vegan lifestyle, and Ms. Small, whose former work on Capitol Hill lends practical legislative knowledge to the battle over nutrition in public schools.
Today, the school is leading a wellness snack pilot program countywide. The program has introduced all-natural or organic snacks that have no more than 9 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat and 10 grams of sugar.
"It's a start," Ms. Regnante says. "If we can do this, people in other places could feel like they can do it, too."
They are. Prince George's County's public schools are seeing major shifts in the way health and nutrition are being presented in schools, in part because of a four-year, $1 million grant that was extended by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and funded by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. The alliance is a joint venture with the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association aimed at combating childhood obesity in the United States through the Healthy Schools Program...
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
CITIZEN JOURNALISM: Eating well at school - Washington Times