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Spreading the word on eating well
January 3, 2011
This year up to 140 students from St. Olaf and Carleton will complete service-learning projects with local schools and community groups to increase awareness about healthy eating habits.
The collaboration will be part of a new program funded by a $25,000 grant that the St. Olaf Center for Experiential Learning, Carleton College, and a number of community partners received from the Corporation for National and Community Service through the Learn and Serve America Program.
Classes in biology, environmental studies, and other disciplines from both colleges will work with teachers and administrators at local elementary schools to develop and facilitate food and nutrition-related activities, with a special focus on children at higher risk of obesity and nutrition-related illnesses. The classes also may partner with local nonprofits such as HealthFinders and Growing Up Healthy. In addition to curricular opportunities, the program will offer internships to individual students who wish to continue their work in the community.
St. Olaf Associate Director of Civic Engagement Nate Jacobi says this project is unique because it promotes large-scale collaboration between a wide variety of classes across two campuses and multiple community organizations. “I am excited about this project because it will provide students from a variety of courses and disciplines with opportunities to collaborate with community organizations and apply things they are learning in the classroom to address real community issues,” he says.
The grant will fund the program through this year, but it has the potential to be renewed for one to two additional years.