Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Send Your Letter To The School Council

The Berkeley School Council will decide on a district-wide gardening and cooking proposal before their May 8th meeting.  Let the School Council know that Willard supports the gardening and cooking program.  Personalize if you can.  When you add your name to the letter, please include that you are from Willard.

Email the letter to:

Copy and paste the letter below:

March 26, 2013

Dear BUSD Board of Directors:

We -- the children and parents -- at Willard Middle School are devastated at the possible loss of our much cherished Garden and Cooking Program and urge you to continue to fully fund the Garden and Cooking Programs for the entire district.

Although we understand that the district has lost federal money that has historically funded this program, we ask you to take a long, hard look at the many, many benefits the program provides and find a way to  continue to completely fund the Garden and Cooking Program.  We also suggest that the long-term cost of losing the program is much greater than the cost of funding it!  In a nation facing an obesity crisis among our young people, teaching about where food comes from and how to develop healthy eating habits has never been more important.

What are some of the many benefits of our Garden and Cooking Program?  Numerous recent studies show that school based Cooking and Gardening programs:

* help children discover fresh food and make better eating choices
* lower stress levels in students
* increase academic performance
* reduce the symptoms of ADHD
* reduce classroom management and discipline problems
* improve children's knowledge of nutrition,  life skills, self-esteem, social skills and behavior

Furthermore, we can look no further than BUSD's own Wellness Policy to see that a healthy diet, sustainable agriculture, environmental restoration and life-long healthy eating habits are all part of BUSD's mission, and that integrating these into the curriculum is a part of that mission.  Are we to dismantle the programs we've worked so hard to develop and throw this mission out the window?  Even if money is available a few years from now, the cost of resurrecting these programs after we've lost experienced staff, infrastructure and a mature garden are too great.  We must find the funding to keep our gardens thriving, our cooking programs cooking, and our children healthy and well nourished in mind, body and soul.

Please continue to fund our Garden and Cooking Program!

your name here
Willard Middle School Family

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