How 25+ schools used their 5-2-1-0 mini grants
Earlier this fall, the Iowa Department of Education – TEAM Nutrition distributed 26 Back-to-School mini grants (up to $500) to support school wellness policy implementation across the state.
Schools were encouraged to use the funds for items or activities that align with the healthy habits habits promoted by the 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! initiative, such as taste-testing supplies, physical activity break items or increased water consumption.
"It is so exciting to see the ideas generated by schools to promote healthy choices at their school," said Carrie Scheidel, Team Nutrition Co-Director at Iowa Department of Education. "The messages of 5-2-1-0 support the implementation of local wellness policies and can extend to families as they develop healthy habits at home."
Schools were required to sign-up as a 5-2-1-0 Registered Site in order to be eligible to apply for the sub-grant. Here is how the schools spent their funds:
Grant Elementary School (Albia Community School District)
National Honor Society students from the local high school set up a table at the Grant Elementary Open House and served fruit smoothies (made with a Ninja blender purchased with grant funds) and provided recipe cards and 5-2-1-0 education. The school also purchased activity dice and mindfulness cards.
Waverly Shell Rock Middle School implemented a Hydration Station where students have the opportunity to drink fruit- and vegetable-infused water using produce harvested from the school garden. Other educational materials and prizes were also purchased for the school's Fuel up to Play 60 student wellness team.
Sioux City Boys & Girls Home
The Sioux City Boys & Girls Home used the funds to better support their farm-to-school learning. Soil, tools, plants and seeds were purchased for the school garden and students and staff participated in a local farmers market. The school is also following a USDA curriculum and has held "Food Fear Factor" tasting events in the cafeteria.
RELATED: How to get your school involved with 5-2-1-0
Hampton-Dumont Middle School
Students and staff from the summer garden program met and planned several "stations" at the Back To School Event at Hampton-Dumont. Information on the 5-2-1-0 initiative was provided as well as samples of pico de gallo, fruit-infused water and fruit salsa made using the school garden's summer produce.
Knoxville Community School District
West Elementary used their funds to support the time and materials for nutrition education for their students. Books, posters, banners, prizes and activity kits were also purchased. Miss Mary Strawberry visits each elementary classroom four times per year to provide lessons on nutrition with a focus on fruits and vegetables.
Northstar Elementary held a kickoff celebration for the Northstar Mileage Club, a program where students set goals and accumulate miles through walking or running. Cones to designate the route and water coolers on wheels were purchased. Fruits and vegetables were also served as a healthy snack for runners.
RELATED: Celebrate 5-2-1-0 in October with Healthiest State Month
Gilmore City-Bradgate Elementary School
With the 5-2-1-0 grant, Gilmore City-Bradgate decided to hire a certified yoga instructor to teach during P.E. class once a week for the months of September and October. They also conducted a variety of taste tests throughout the fall with locally-grown seasonal fruits and vegetables and demonstrated new recipes during gardening class.
Community Christian School in Fort Dodge
Community Christian School purchased two water dispensers with infusers, reusable cups and fresh fruit and vegetables. The infused water is available to all students and staff throughout the school day including, before school, during all meals and snack periods, after-school activities, community programs and events and school wide events.
West Bend-Mallard Community School
High school psychology students collaborated with elementary students and teachers to create a fruit challenge where the younger students were introduced to a variety of new fruits. Yard games were also purchased for the district's P.E. classes for a unit promoting healthy habits and lifestyles at any age.
RESOURCES: Order free 5-2-1-0 posters and brochures
Des Moines Public Schools
Moulton Elementary used the grant funds to purchase supplies to rebuild their school garden, including a rain barrel, garden beds, seeds and perennial plants. School staff wanted to create a usable space so that students could participate in Farm to School activities starting in the 2019-2020 school year.
Lovejoy Elementary's school garden went through renovation over the summer and sub-grant funds were used to help turn the space into an "outdoor classroom" with a table for students to take notes or prepare produce on. They also purchased additional soil as well as garden tools, in addition to the table building materials.
Moore Elementary purchased 22 yoga mats to do Yoga in the Garden for use by the garden club, school events and classroom teachers. These yoga mats will also be used inside during the winter months and during inclement weather. As part of this grant, Moore Elementary also conducted a salsa taste test made with produce from the garden.
Goodrell Middle School partnered with Primary Health Care Eastside Clinic to host a "Game On Night" for students and families. Entertainment included rock climbing, basketball, flag football, flag tag as well as art and music activities. Healthy snacks including vegetables, cheese and crackers, milk and water were served.
RELATED: Apply for a Healthiest State Annual Education Award
Shuler Elementary (Waukee Community School District)
Shuler Elementary used their mini grant to fund a variety of different efforts: They served a salsa made with local ingredients during Open House, purchased P.E. equipment to develop 5-2-1-0 lesson plans, purchased grow lights for classroom gardens and formed partnerships with the local YMCA to support a Girls on the Run and STRIDE Club.
North Elementary (Central Decatur Community School District)
Central Decatur held an event to help educate community members about 5-2-1-0. A total of 115 students and their families attended. School staff handed out 5-A-Day Fruit and Veggie Bands, had a make-your-own fruit kabob station and hosted a jump rope contest. Families were also able to take home 5-2-1-0 posters and other materials.
RELATED: Make your own 5-A-Day Fruit & Veggie Bands
Riceville Community Schools
Elementary students participated in taste testing with new fruits and vegetables and learned about the "Don't Yuck My Yum" concept. Students were able to rate each new food item they tried. The middle school was able to purchase 32 pedometers for use in P.E. class and potentially integrate into health, science and math classes.
St. Joseph's School in New Hampton
St. Joseph used the grant funds to purchase an infuser and introduce flavored water in our lunch room. After surveying students about what foods they'd like to try, St. Joseph introduced taste testing of kale smoothies and salsa made from produce harvested from the school garden, with more planned in the future.
Northeast Elementary (Ankeny Community School District)
Northeast Elementary installed a sensory “Wellness Walkway" in one hallway of their building which includes permanently adhered stickers that promote indoor active play, engage senses, and enhance learning and social/emotional skills. They also used the funds to create 5-A-Day Fruit and Veggie Bands which they handed out at their annual Jag Jog fundraiser.
REGISTER: Join us at the 5-2-1-0 Summit on October 22
Oak Hill Elementary (Clear Creek Amana School District)
Oak Hill Elementary invited Hy-Vee KidsFit to do an all-school assembly and paired it with a black bean and rice taste test. KidsFit assemblies include fun physical activity challenges and nutrition lessons. After sampling the black beans and rice, students were asked to vote: "Love It," "Like It" or "Not My Favorite."
Peosta Elementary (Western Dubuque School District)
Peosta Elementary partnered with Iowa State University Extension to educate students on tomatoes, including how they are grown and prepared. At lunch, a salsa using locally-grown tomatoes was offered as a taste-test item to students. Books about tomatoes were also purchased for the school library.
RELATED: Sign your school up to be a 5-2-1-0 Registered Site
Garner-Hayfield-Ventura Community School District
"Try Day Fridays" were introduced at both the elementary and middle school. The events generated a lot of excitement and had almost 100 percent participation rate among students. The September event featured fruit-infused water. Future events include hummus and vegetables and fruit smoothies.
Highland Elementary (Waterloo Community School District)
Highland Elementary used the grant funds to conduct two taste tests for students and families during Open House and Parent Teacher Conferences. Salsa and cucumber sandwiches were served using produce from the school garden. They also used the funds to purchase additional garden and kitchen supplies.
RESOURCE: Download the 5-2-1-0 Action Guide for Schools
Albert City-Truesdale Elementary
The implementation of the 5-2-1-0 grant at Albert City-Truesdale was led by the student council. They hosted a poster contest promoting water consumption and a fruit and vegetable taste test during lunch. Their efforts were also complimented by education from the principal and school nurse.
Fairview Elementary (Grinnell-Newburg Community School District)
Fairview Elementary used the funds to purchase brain break activities for each classroom. This is an area in the classroom that includes sensory materials where kids can go to practice self-regulation skills and get their body and mind ready for learning. School staff also has a variety of other programming planned to support the 5-2-1-0 healthy habits.
RELATED: Learn more about 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count!
Andrew Community School
The grant allowed Andrew Community School to purchase three registrations to the 5-2-1-0 Summit, 5-A-Day Fruit and Veggie Bands for all students, nutrition model food, nutrition skill cards, fitness/movement dice, four check-out pedometers, data recorder and batteries. The P.E. students also participated in a 5-2-1-0 themed week of classes.
Wings Park Elementary (Oelwein Community School District)
Wings Park utilized their AmeriCorps FoodCorp service member to facilitate nutrition and physical activity education. The school's garden program provides hands-on learning involving growing and eating locally-grown food. Students also sampled zucchini muffins and played a game where they shared their favorite fruit or vegetable.