Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lettuce Try It!


Today... 650 elementary school students, dressed in green, ate lettuce and turnips that they grew in their own school garden, that cafeteria staff washed and prepped and served in the cafeteria during lunch.  Wow! What an accomplishment!!
Students, cafeteria staff, parents and teachers ate salad with their lunch today!  The tasting left students asking for more.  More salad, more turnips please! 



Harvest Time!

Lettuce and Turnips are bursting from the garden beds! 

Fernbank students harvested lettuce and giant turnips from the school garden Wednesday.  Unfortunately the night before harvest day the temperature was expected to plummet.  So… our garden beds were put to sleep with warm blankets and then harvested first thing in the morning. 


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Wellness Committee needs students!

Attention 4th & 5th Graders!
Do you want to work with teachers and parents to help our school become a healthier place?
Are you interested in being a student representative on the Fernbank
Are you able to attend monthly meetings on Wednesday after school until 3:30 (first meeting will be in late January)?

Then you will want to submit an ESSAY for consideration by the staff and parents on the Wellness Committee!

Fernbank has joined the ranks of schools across the nation that are using the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Healthy Schools Program framework to create a school culture that encourages physical activity and healthy eating.
The Fernbank Elementary Wellness Committee (Healthier Generation's Healthier Schools Program) will be selecting 8 students from 4th and 5th grade based on submitted essays.

Essay rules:
--4th and 5th graders only
--Write no more than one page on ONE of the following topics
1st choice: What does wellness mean to you? Give three (3) examples.
2nd choice: Describe your vision of a healthier school. Use three (3) examples.
--Handwritten OR typed double-spaced
-- Include your name, teacher's name, and the words "Student Wellness Essay" at the top of the page
--turn in by putting in Ms.Beckwith's teacher box Monday, December 17

Selected students will be notified by Jan. 10!
Questions? Please contact the parent coordinators of the Wellness Committee,
Lee Ann Else ( and Delilah Wynn-Brown ( )

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Harvest!

Just before Thanksgiving break, it was harvest and tasting day at Fernbank Elementary!  700 students tasted greens harvested from their own school garden.   
As usual, thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers, PE coaches, cafeteria staff and sponsors, we were able to pull off another successful school-wide tasting.  Parent volunteers joined forces with the school cafeteria staff to wash, dry and cut the greens in preparation for the tasting.  Whole Foods, Briarcliff donated lettuce, shredded carrot, cranberries and ingredients to make our fabulous salad dressing.  Mix it all together and what do you get? Kids eating salad!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Science In the Garden

Wondering what goes on in the garden while our fall crops grow?  Second grade science class visited the garden to draw what they saw – and what they learned about that was going on behind the scenes.  Students drew their own plant diagrams of what they observed which included leaf drawings, and how the sun, water, pollen, bees, butterflies, roots, stems, flowers, seeds all worked together in the garden.  Some students noticed decaying plant parts like “dead leaves” or “old turnips.”  The old plants were weeded and mulched during our fall planting earlier this month and now we get to watch our garden grow! 
We look forward to our fall harvest and school-wide tasting November 15th.

DeKalb County School Garden Tour

Fernbank Elementary School participated in a DeKalb County school garden tour earlier this month along with Henderson Mill Elementary and Chestnut Elementary.  Hosted by Georgia Organics, the garden tour showcased three flourishing organic school gardens in DeKalb county.  The tour was followed by a presentation and lunch at Henderson Mill Elementary School organic garden.  Invited participants heard about how DeKalb County School District is bringing fresh, local food to school meals, and how teachers and parents are connecting these foods with curriculum and edible gardens.  We heard stories from leaders across the district about how farm to school is taking root and changing the lives of DeKalb students.
The DeKalb Board of Health, school board members, area superintendants, state level politicians, Atlanta Magazine, the DeKalb County School Nutrition director as well as parents, teachers and students were among the participants.
Thank you Georgia Organics!
Dr. Joyce Wimberly presenting DeKalb Farm to School program.

Student-lead garden tour

Engineer-designed water collection system.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fernbank has a new Wellness Council!

Fernbank has taken the challenge!  We are pursuing bronze level recognition from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.  The Healthy Schools Program provides a framework for schools to assess and improve the wellness of their school culture.  It helps schools create an environment where physical activity and healthy eating are accessible and encouraged.  The program is an obesity prevention program that was started by the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association.

With a childhood obesity rate of 37.3%, our state ranks of 49th in the nation for overweight or obese children.  Lt. Governor Casey Cagle has challenged all schools to use the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Healthy School Program to improve in the areas of nutrition, physical activity and staff wellness.  By transforming our schools, we will shape the lifelong health and well-being of children and adolescents.

In order to begin the Healthy Schools Program, Fernbank Farm To School approached our faculty about creating a School Wellness Council.  We were surprised by a very positive response from our teachers. Nine teachers signed up to serve on our School Wellness Council, as well as Ms. Satterfield, our Assistant Principal.  In addition to our faculty, four parents will be on the Wellness Council.  The Wellness Council will be lead by parents Delilah Wynn Brown and Lee Ann Else.  We are thrilled to have two Fernbank parents, Anne Dunlop and Jean Welsh that specialize in obesity prevention on our Wellness Council.

Wellness Council
Elisabeth Beckwith
JJ Carroll
Alicia Jacobs
Laura Mantrone
Meredith Mourdock
April Poindexter
Debbie Satterfield
kathy Shaw
Peggy Sutton
Lara Thompson
Delilah Wynn Brown
Anne Dunlop MD, MPH
Lee Ann Else
Jean Welsh PhD, MPH, RN 

Our first meeting will be November 14th, at 2:30 in Ms. Beckwith's classroom.  We will discuss the nomination process for Student Wellness Council members and review the process the Healthy Schools Program will follow.