Friday, December 4, 2009

Urban Youth Take Up the Cause of Healthy Eating

FACT: Half of U.S. teens are overweight or obese.

“When it comes to healthy eating, options are often limited for urban youth,” says María Elena Torre, director of the Public Science Project at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. "All youth, including those in poor and working class areas, must be involved in unpacking the consequences of our becoming a ‘fast-food’ nation."

We couldn't agree more. This month, WKCD showcases youth and their adult allies for whom healthy eating has become a mantra.

In "Urban Youth Take Up the Cause of Healthy Eating"--the first story in this three-part series--students at a charter school in Oakland, as part of a service-learning project with the National Council of La Raza, take turns interviewing each other about their daily diet, and videotape the results.

In "Rethinking School Lunch," students in Chicago master the challenge of making a school lunch that kids WILL eat--one that involves only six steps, exceeds federal nutrition standards, includes a locally grown vegetable, and costs only a dollar.

In "Schoolyard Gardeners Nourish New Ideas," we learn about schools where students are replacing asphalt with raised beds and seeds, growing their own food and sharing the surplus with neighbors. "I can already smell the broccoli," says seventh-grader Tyler. "We're helping the planet," Lisa adds.

All three pieces include lots of resources and links for folks who want to know more, as well as history and statistics.

This month's edition of WKCD.ORG also features young journalists at Y-Press reporting on youth and social justice, and high school students in Somerville, MA who have created a living, green roof atop an affordable housing project.

As always, your interest means the world to these young people and the adults who guide them. Read their stories--and forward to friends!

With good wishes,

Barbara Cervone, Ed.D., President

WKCD ( brings youth voices to bear on important issues in our schools and society. Check out our other sites, too:; and Help us spread the word!

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About Me

The CalServe Network posts news and updates of interest to the service-learning field in California. News and updates are drawn from the CalServe List Serve and the National K-12 Service-Learning List Serve and various other sources.