Congratulations Robbins Elementary-USDA Customer Service Award Winner and Clark-Shaw Magnet Middle-USDA Food Safety Award Winner Pictured from l to r: June Barrett, Program Coordinator, Child Nutrtion Program, ALSDE; Marcelette Stewart, principal Robbins Elementary; Betsy Cole, CNP manager Robbins Elementary; Suzanne Yates, CNP Food Service Director, MCPSS; Darlene Castelin, Science teacher, Clark-Shaw Magnet School; Dianne McWain, principal Clark-Shaw Magnet.
Read their award winning entries: Robbins Elementary The Child Nutrition Program (CNP) Staff at W.D. Robbins Elementary School has promoted various types of customer service related activities with Pre-K through 5th grades for approximately 13 years in Prichard, AL. Ms. Betsy Cole, CNP manager seeks creative venues for the students to feel engaged in their breakfast and lunch time experiences. Throughout the years, customer service has been a motivator in selecting methods of education. In 2000, Ms. Cole and the kitchen staff dressed up as characters from the Wizard of Oz and acted out scenes from the play during lunch periods. This served to teach students the importance of thinking through their choices, which in turn related back to food choices and preventing food waste. Also, Ms. Cole has one to two in-house field trips with all the grade levels each year. Generally an in-house field trip consists of a kitchen tour and then making some food where all of the students are involved with the preparation. The students are shown the ingredients and methods used to make various types of food. The students play an active role in preparing some foods, from pouring in the ingredients to mixing and final prep before cooking. An apple tasting party with the CNP staff dressed as apples let the students see that there are more than just red apples to eat. This has been done several times during the years. Ms. Cole also works with the Mobile County Public Health Department in having presentations with promoting general nutrition. These are just a few examples of Ms. Cole’s initiatives to promote customer service in the school cafeteria. Ms. Cole promotes an environment that welcomes a variety of foods and strives to teach the students to be open-minded when selecting foods.
Clark-Shaw Magnet Middle Mobile County Public School System (MCPSS) Child Nutrition Program (CNP) has partnered with Clark Shaw Magnet School 6th grade Science class for the past 5 years in Mobile, AL. As part of the curriculum requirement to enable students to make informed health decisions, Ms. Darlene Castelin, science teacher at Clark Shaw Magnet school has a food safety awareness block. In the block, the students identify unicellular organisms, including bacteria and protists by their methods of locomotion, reproduction, ingestion, excretion, and effects on other organisms. She discusses the microscopic world that we normally don’t think about and address it with germs around the room, in the kitchen, etc. To make this block a real life experience, Suzanne Yates, CNP Food Service Director and Peggy Hendrix, CNP Manager for Clark Shaw Cafeteria review pertinent topics of food safety along with a school kitchen tour. The main topic with food safety is a review of the most common microorganisms that can cause food-borne illnesses and how to read the health inspection reports that are posted in eating establishments and differences and similarities between commercial and home kitchens are discussed along with proper hand washing, proper handling of food and lastly, a tour of the school kitchen.
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