Kimball FoodPrints students host VIP visitors: “This is what we need to lift up”
Ensuring students have opportunities to eat nourishing food and partake in nourishing education was the theme of an event at Kimball Elementary School on November 18th where the American Federation of Teachers kicked off its School Meals for All campaign in support of the Universal School Meals legislation in Congress.
Kimball students were ambassadors for guests Congressman Jamaal Bowman of New York; Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers; and Jackie Pogue-Lyons, president of the Washington Teachers Union and staff of The SOZE Agency.
The VIPs toured the school to meet the amazing staff and students, and see the new building – and how kids are thriving at Kimball. They also spent time in a 5th grade FoodPrints class with FoodPrints teachers, Ms. Sollee and Ms. Wilson. In the classroom students measured pumpkins; made individual Sweet Potato Quesadillas – peeling roasted sweet potatoes, mashing and mixing them with spices, filling the tortilla, and cooking them on the stove with the guidance of Ms. Sollee. In the garden with Ms. Wilson, students harvested sweet potatoes – along with the Congressman and President Weingarten!
After spending time with our students engaging in the FoodPrints Curriculum – and seeing their learning and excitement in action President Weingarten commented, “The math, the science, the social-emotional learning that I saw is all all baked in – no pun intended – to FoodPrints. This is what we need to lift up and this is what we need to make available.”
“The math, the science, the social-emotional learning that I saw is all all baked in – no pun intended – to FoodPrints. This is what we need to lift and this is what we need to make available.” – Randi Weingarten
Our visitors were struck by the social emotional learning that was happening at Kimball and in FoodPrints as well. “Today, I saw eyes sparkling even with masks on. You would not know that these kids had two years of disruption because of Covid,” Ms. Weingarten observed.
At the heart of the event was a call for healthy school meals for all. Our visitors called for school meals to be connected to experiential food education programs like FoodPrints – where kids have agency in their eating and imagination in preparing food. A beautiful mural was unveiled in the Kimball lunchroom that lifted up the beauty of fruits and vegetables and students’ joy.
*All photos in this post by Pamela Wolf, AFT