Rogue Valley Farm to School awarded the Good Apple Award to Anne Leavens, Director of Food and Nutrition Services for Central Point School District #6 in honor of Ms. Leavens and the school district’s dedication to healthy children, thriving local farmers, and innovative hands-on learning. The award was presented in celebration of National School Lunch Week, October 7-14, at the launch of National Farm to School Month.
“It is leaders like Anne Leavens that can create real change in a community. Her commitment, and the district’s commitment, to healthy school lunches, getting kids out in the garden, and setting an example for long-term health is so inspiring to see,” Rogue Valley Farm to School Program Director Melina Barker said in presenting the award to Leavens Sunday, October 1. “Anne Leavens and her staff are doing amazing work in the cafeteria. Grilled local zucchini, fresh seasonal vegetables, they are beautiful lunches. This is what we dream of for all children.”
An upcoming Learning Connection Summit in the Rogue Valley, hosted by the Central Point School District on October 26 highlights the district’s strong belief that good nutrition is linked to strong learners. Rogue Valley Farm to School has been working with Central Point School District over the last six years, helping to support thriving school gardens and providing an array of hands-on education programs, including four-hour farm field trips; providing Tasting Tables in school cafeterias as a means of introducing students to new fresh fruits and vegetables; and teacher professional development. Central Point School District #6 and Rogue Valley Farm to School are looking to increase their partnership in the upcoming year.
“Our partnership with Rogue Valley Farm to School has significantly impacted not only our students’ health and well being, but our opportunities for students to apply their learning in garden and nutrition projects," Superintendent of Central Point School District Samantha Stelle said. "We’re incredibly grateful for Rogue Valley Farm to School for supporting the Central Point School District to further build community relationships—agriculture is an important part of our community and school district.”
Rogue Valley Farm to School created the Good Apple Award as a means of honoring leaders in the community who are creating positive change and inspiring others to do the same. “The leaders of Central Point School District are setting an amazing example,” Rogue Valley Farm to School executive director Sheila Carder said. “They are creating a model for others to follow. We wanted to honor Anne, her staff, Central Point School District Superintendent Samantha Steele and all the many others who have made our work in the region so much easier, and who are clearly dedicated to creating a culture of wellness.”