Revelry at Oak Ridge Elementary

e-Connections Post Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge Elementary School students, in collaboration with sixth grade teachers Whitney Cole and Sarah Wagner, recently hosted an evening to highlight how student action can impact healthy eating.

The celebration was the culmination of two months of research focused on educating families and others about “food justice” in their neighborhoods.

The night revolved around the development of an IDL (Inquiry Driven Learning) project that the sixth grade classes created focusing on this question: How does food impact the community?

Students educated the campus on healthy food options through creating school wide marketing posters, tracking the food options in the cafeteria daily and designing and writing a school newsletter.

In addition, they reached out to community members to support their cause and created incentives to get younger students excited and eager about healthy food choices. 

The event began with a student docent-led tour of poster and projects depicting what students learned about healthy food options. Sixth grade students reached out to local chef Ian McBride from Lucca Restaurant. McBride attended the evening celebration and made, with the help of students, some delicious kale pesto, farrow and beet salad, and a tomato and basil salad.

The students led guests on a tour in the school dining room showcasing facts learned from the movie “Fed Up,” demonstrating the knowledge they learned about fruits and vegetables.

The group Food Literacy Center also contributed to the night by giving families and community members a hands-on food literacy lesson. Urban Farmstead and Louie’s Restaurant in Oak Park provided some great healthy snacks.

The evening of community impact was a huge success and a source of pride for students and staff at Oak Ridge. Funds raised will be used to purchase a food and snack cart that will be used to teach students to prepare healthy dishes using fruits and vegetables from our Oak Ridge Garden.