Students at Lac La Biche's Aurora Middle School gathered in the school's on-site greenhouse on January 8, to collect bundles of a certain leafy vegetable to share with schoolmates. The vegetable selected for this month's student taste test is kale.
Aurora Middle School is in the APPLE Schools program (A Project Promoting healthy Living for Everyone in schools), which aims to educate students on the benefits of leading a healthy life. Aurora students are among 20,000 others in Alberta, BC, NWT and Manitoba using the program. Aurora's greenhouse, which began producing for the school two years ago offers students and staff an opportunity to educate students on the benefits of vegetables while they learn about seeds, dirt, farming and the environment. It's a perfec fit for the APPLE project, says Aurora teacher Erin Shulko.
“The APPLE Schools program helps to teach students how to choose healthy foods, and how to make healthy choices. So it focuses on both mental and physical health,” she said..
APPLE Schools began as a project back in 2007, starting with the simple goal to make schools healthier for students. Now the program is in 74 schools, and growing. Just in the past year, the APPLE Schools philosphy has been added to nine more schools in Western Canada.
A part of the program introduces students to healthy and exciting foods ... like freshly grown kale.
“We do taste testing at our schools, so the students try some foods that they’ve never tried before. And realize that healthy food can also taste good. This is something we do every month,” says Shulko.