“Can we get pictures with the football players!?”
This was the question asked by my first grade students when they found out the Butte High School football players would be joining them for lunch. Over the past few months Butte High School student-athletes have been eating lunch with elementary school students as part of the “Lunch with the Bulldogs” program. The student-athletes joined the elementary schools on the Montana Made Meal featuring the Harvest of the Month item. The younger students learn about healthy eating from someone they admire and it provides a mentorship opportunity for the older students. As one member of the BHS volleyball team said,
“The kids look up to us, so what we do kind of makes them want to do it too. If we eat the salad maybe they’ll think that they should eat it too!”
The high school students usually find themselves learning from the elementary school students as well. It was a memorable moment during the lunch when a second grade girl explained how Montana Crunch Time worked to five senior football players.
In addition to the “Lunch with the Bulldogs” program, some elementary school classes have been taking field trips to the high school. Family and Consumer Science teacher Judy Bryant hosts the elementary school students once a month in her Culinary Arts class, allowing them to cook alongside the high schoolers. Recently a group of third graders made squash pancakes for Harvest of the Month in November. All the students got to measure, mix, pour, flip and eat squash pancakes. For some elementary school students, this was the first time they had made pancakes. Everyone enjoyed the pancakes with one students commenting, “I could eat this for the rest of my life!” as they proudly placed the “Tried it!” sticker on their shirt. After the cooking class, each third grade student got the recipe for the pancakes with the incentive of receiving extra credit if they made the squash pancakes at home and took a picture. The high school students also had fun with many looking forward to seeing the elementary students joining them again this month to bake carrot muffins!
National Center for Appropriate Technology – Headquarters
After a year at the Boys & Girls Club of Yellowstone County in Billings, MT, Kelsie is continuing her FoodCorps service at the National Center for Appropriate Technology in Butte. Her most memorable experiences have come from the garden, a place where kids can truly feel connected with their food firsthand. “In my first few weeks of service I had tomatoes sitting on my desk, and a boy asked me what the ‘tiny red footballs’ were,” she recalls. “I was able to give him one and then take him to the garden where we picked them earlier that day.” Kelsie studied nutrition at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University in Minnesota, and hopes to bring her knowledge into a teaching career, as well as coach cross-country and track.