Wednesday, October 23, 2019

CMSP 327 Students Illustrate How to Win Against Competitive Foods

Fifteen students from Comprehensive Model School Project-M.S. 327 participated in a five week course with Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) this summer sponsored by Bronx Health REACH. Susanna Arellano, a teaching artist at CUP, led students through an exploration of the power structures and systems within the NYC Department of Education and an individual school building that impact nutrition and wellness in NYC schools. The students illustrated the main themes of each lesson using art techniques such as print making, photography and infographics. Their art was used to create an educational booklet on how students can make healthy snack choices in schools.

They created a 16 page booklet, Snack Attack, How Can Students Make Healthy Snack Choices in Schools? The information in the booklet was informed by student research. Students took surveys of fellow students and community members to better understand what they consider to be healthy versus unhealthy foods, and which snack options should be available at school. They also photographed paper cut-outs of healthy food pasted onto bodega shelves next to junk food, showing what a healthy bodega would look like.

Students interviewed Stephen O'Brien, Director of the Office of School Food and Nutrition Services, Department of Education and Kelly Moltzen, Program Manager of the Creating Healthy Schools and Communities Program at Bronx Health REACH to gain insight into where the food that is sold in schools comes from, how much does the food change between the farm and the student consumer, and who decides what foods get sold in schools.

“I would make sure that there are no copycat snacks [in schools]," said student Nikosi Whyte. "I would make the food healthier and unprocessed.” 

The booklet will be distributed to community schools in the South Bronx to promote healthy snacking in schools.

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