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July 3, 2014
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RFKM E-News 


Spotlight on Schools: Germantown Elementary School

Germantown ES

This week, RFKM is spotlighting Germantown Elementary School for the stellar work they have done this past year to improve the school food environment. Germantown is committed to making healthy changes that promote the well-being of the students. Here are just a few of their accomplishments this past year:

1. An "Outdoor Classroom" was created and installed by the school grounds committee of the PTA, including two salad tables and a rainbow flowerpot garden. Each grade was able to plant carrots, radishes, and up to five different types of lettuce, and was involved in the watering of the garden as well as the thinning of plants. The salad table allowed students to taste the lettuce they planted in a tasty school-grown salad. Next year, the classroom will feature a Sensory Garden with many different types of scented plants.

2. This April, members of the PTA planned and coordinated a Healthy Lives, Happy Families event for the school community. The event featured "One Small Change--How the Food and Lifestyle Choices WE Make Today Will Affect OUR CHILDREN Tomorrow," an interactive presentation for parents that included lessons on how to shop smartly for affordable, healthy meals, how to prepare easy recipes at home, and how to increase your family's consumption of fruits and vegetables. The program received rave reviews and inspired many to make changes in their homes.

3. Germantown is making an effort to provide students with better snack options during events. Snack options at more events have included healthier, oftentimes organic foods, free of artificial dyes and preservatives, as well as water and organic juices. 

4. Earlier in the school year, all students participated in the iWalk PTA fundraiser. Students were encouraged to enlist the help of family and friends to sponsor a certain number of laps to be completed during the walk. Students spent their lunch and recess time completing their laps and enjoying the outdoor activity.

5. During the last week of school, the physical education department organized a school-wide Field Day that allowed the children to showcase all that they have been working on in their classes throughout the year. Parents were encouraged to cheer on their children as they participated in outdoor activities and games. 

Way to go, Germantown! 

For more information about the amazing work being done at Germantown, please contact our school representative to Germantown ES, Heather Ford.


School Food to Improve in Fairfax

Thanks to the advocacy work of the original Real Food for Kids in Fairfax, Virginia, the Fairfax County Public Schools has announced plans to move forward with its strategic plan to make improvements in the quality of food served to its students. 

The plan, unveiled in March, includes implementing fruit and vegetable bars in all middle and high schools over the next three years, eliminating additional artificial additives, dyes, and preservatives, providing more nutrition information to parents and students, implementing a local purchase preference policy, expanding the menu cycle, and developing a plan to phase out regular soda from student access areas in all schools. 

These proposed changes give an example close to home of a district against which MCPS benchmarks itself that is committed to doing more to improve the school food than is being done in MCPS. RFKM has been collecting benchmarking data from districts all around the country of school systems who have introduced innovations that have yet to be adopted in MCPS. We hope to unveil that information soon. 

Healthy Eating Resources

Share our Strength's Cooking Matters's Educational Tools offer educational tools for cooking healthy meals at home and in the community, as well as shopping productively at the grocery store or other markets. These kits include online resources, tips, recipes, activities, and curricula designed to cultivate healthy lifestyles. With an emphasis on instructing community organizers, parents, and most significantly, kids, the guides provided apply to a broad range of settings.

USDA's ChooseMyPlate initiative supplies a template for eating healthily on a budget. By teaching parents and professionals how to prepare for visiting the grocery store, shop smart, cook healthy meals, and construct weekly menus, this model of well-being helps communities save money while remaining health conscious.

MC Fish Tacos

Call on the Surgeon General to Curb Sugar Consumption

It is time to urge the acting Surgeon General to advise the public on the overload of sugar in our diets and use his influence in order to commission an authoritative report on the health effects of added sugars in our diet. Please take the time to write a quick personalized message to the Surgeon General. Thank you in advance. 

Articles and Events of Interest

Cheerios Protein Cereal--Sugary Hype, Not Much More. For more information on the foods you buy, download the Fooducate app using the tab on the right after clicking the above link or search in your app store.

Scholarships for Agricultural Studies

Montgomery County Farm Bureau, Inc. is pleased to offer two (2) $3,000.00, six (6) $2,000.00, and two (2) $1,000.00 scholarships to Montgomery County residents majoring in an agricultural field at a vocational, two-year, or four-year institution:

Petition to Continue

While RFKM did submit its petition to MCPS on June 3, because signatures continue to come in and we have no guarantee that our requests will be answered, we have decided to leave it open to continue to draw in more supporters. So if you missed signing it, please do now!

RFKM and the Washington Spirit

Mark your calendar for a fun night with the Washington Spirit, Maryland's professional women's soccer team: Wednesday, July 30. RFKM will have a table at this 'Spirit Cares' night at the Maryland Soccerplex Stadium in Boyds, MD. Call Natalie Pardo, 240-812-7014 or 703-674-6093 for tickets or order online. Use promo code "RFKM" to get a $5 discount.

If you believe in our mission, please support us. This work takes a lot of time and effort! Thanks!                                                                                                 

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Real Food for Kids - Montgomery
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Silver Spring, Maryland 20901

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