Dear Fabulous 4/5s,
What a wonderful year it has been, thanks to your spirit of kindness, energy, and generosity. We really have much to celebrate. What I would like to share today is how proud I am of the work you did this year on behalf of others. Specifically, your work on helping hungry people in Alameda County.
There is something about giving to others, helping others, that brings out the best in ourselves. We started our catering business with the idea that we would be creating a legacy project. Something that would continue long after this group of 4/5’s has finished their education here at the Children’s School and moved on to other schools. In part, there was the recognition that experiencing the outdoor classroom by way of field trips and service learning endeavors was a deeply meaningful way of learning. This group understood that these experiences are valuable and can be expensive. They chose to raise money so that future 4/5 classes could continue and expand the incredible learning opportunities that these opportunities offer.
But that was only part of the group’s effort. They also wanted to give something to help others outside of the school community. We researched different local organizations. Then we came across a documentary about hunger in America called A Place at the Table. We learned a lot about food insecurity within our country and found out that it exists in almost every community, including Oakland. The class decided to learn more.
We had already learned the importance of healthy eating earlier in the school year when we studied the human body, then had a unit on nutrition. During these units, we worked with a campus-based group of graduate students interested in teaching about growing food and healthy eating called Camp Kitchen Harvest. They helped us plant our garden and taught us about how to prepare healthy foods for low costs. They explained that a lot of the work they do with kids involves kids in low-income families. Every class included making a healthy snack.
We also have enjoyed many cooking lessons this year with our Cultures teacher, Ms Mindy. We love cooking! Starting a business serving healthy snacks seemed natural for us. We had the great fortune of having Dave Siopack, an expert in finance, as our guide. He taught us about how to start a business, how to budget, and how to make a business plan. Later, he helped us make our own mission statement.
The Happy Eating Place has been a wonderful vehicle for learning. From math to ethical foods, we have come a long way in our understanding of the importance of eating healthy foods. We are proud of the volunteer work we did at the Alameda Community Food Bank. We are also proud to have raised over $300 to donate to the food bank. We are also proud of the garden we helped expand this year. Our gift to the school is the colorful hoop nets that will protect the plants from birds and other small creatures. These legacy projects will continue through future years as we hope to expand the work and learning with the Happy Eating Place. Thank you Fabulous 4/5’s!
What will our $300 donation mean? Because the food bank can buy in bulk, each dollar has the buying power of nearly $4.00. So we went shopping on the Alameda County Community Food Bank’s Virtual Shopping Drive. Here are some of the ways our money could be spent:
- 1 case of 24 8 oz cartons of milk, 2 300 lb cases of produce, 90 loaves of bread, and 20 family meals
- 1 case of 24 8 oz cartons of milk, 1 case of beans, 300 lb of produce, 90 loaves of bread, 1 case of corn, 1 case of soup
- 3000 lbs of produce
- 124 cans of tuna fish, 90 loaves of bread
–Anne Malamud, June 16, 2013