This past June, Border Partners’ received a grant from the Paso del Norte Health Foundation to expand our work educating in local schools about the importance of healthy eating. With schools across Palomas back in session this month, we launched our ambitious new program, aiming to provide eight workshops on eight different nutrition topics to all of Palomas’ 700 school students before the end of the year.
In addition, we’ll give workshops to significant adults. For instance, we’ll explain the goals of our program and promoting healthy lifestyles among families in Palomas to teachers and cooks at the schools. We’ll also offer special workshops to children who struggle with excess weight. In doing so, we hope to have participation at all levels of the community in this initiative. Ultimately that will produce positive changes in many children and their families moving towards healthier futures.
Healthy Eating Opportunities
This project is about more than simply promoting healthy eating through education. It also expands resources to ensure that those healthy choices are available to students and parents. To this end, our gardening team is working hard to install greenhouses at each of the schools. They’ve also created mini-gardens for each classroom where we offer the program. As a result, we can engage students’ green thumbs in small planting projects through the workshops.
With gardens full of fresh produce year-round, we hope that by getting students’ hands in the soil, everyone will savor the delicious vegetables that their efforts produce. In addition, we are offering a healthy food supplement for school lunches to ensure that all students have access to the foods we promote in our classes.
To track our progress towards our goals with this initiative, staff asked each child before the classes started about the foods they typically ate. At the end of the program, we’ll repeat the survey. That will tell us if the saturation of fresh and healthy foods we promoted are more present in the answers.
This year-long initiative is a welcome addition to regular educational programming offered in schools. We are especially grateful for the close partnerships we enjoy in local schools that entrust us with this knowledge-sharing project. And we look forward to sharing the results with all of you!