Fifth graders at M.E. Pearson Elementary in Kansas City, Kansas hosted a community Zumba® party and farm to school supper and paid for it themselves—with the cash award they received at our Champions for Health Youth Summit in March.
Their entry to our photo contest won first place for 5th grade and gave them the opportunity to make a pitch to an audience of peer judges at the summit. Their wizard-themed pitch won over the crowd and they went home with a total of $2500 for their project.
Many of the same students who presented at the summit are on student council, so they worked as a group to plan the event. Their goal was to showcase Splitlog Farm & Orchard, across the street, and to show families that eating healthy and being active can be delicious and fun.
The students worked with Chef Chris Williams from our Farm to School Academy to serve locally-grown produce. Cucuzza squash and sweet potato vines from Splitlog Farm were used in marinara sauce and lasagna.
Dessert featured a rainbow fruit buffet. All the kids helped washed and cut the fruit.
A parent volunteer led the group in a few Zumba® numbers.
Students created a guessing game. Anyone who could estimate how many pounds of sweet potatoes were in the baskets won a giant 5 pound potato grown at Splitlog farm. There were no losers at this party, though, as Rachael McGinnis Millsap, director of our Farm to School Academy, gave away 200 pounds of sweet potatoes!
The student council will use the rest of their funds to buy a farm stand. It will be set up outside the school on weekly early release days. The student council will stock it with free fresh produce from Splitlog Farm and other sources.