KCA Students Think Globally & Act Locally
Kansas City Academy
School Contact Information
Kathy Baldwin-Heitman, Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org Kansas City Academy, Kansas City Combined II (K-12), Independent Under 500 Students urban
I have been an administrator at KCA for 12 years. I was previously the Director of Admissions & Development, but am currently part-time in my position as Student Activities Coordinator while I pursue an MA in Global Education and Innovation, with an emphasis in Sustainability studies.* I Am Available to Mentor Other Green School Honor Roll Members.
The Green School Story
We addressed these 4 Pillars of a Green School
- Strive to be Toxics Free
- Use Resources Sustainably
- Create Green Schoolyards and Serve Healthy Food
- Teach Stewardship & Student Action
We have taken these steps from the 7 Steps to a Green School
- Establish a green team
- Do a school Environmental audit
- Develop an action plan
- Integrate into the curriculum
- Involve, inform, and celebrate with the community
Environmental Challenge or Goal Addressed
Our school had no lunch program, only vending machines full of junk food.
Our Green School Approach
The Student Council requested healthier foods be made available. Not only did they investigate improving the items available in the vending machines, they also investigated the possibility of creating a healthy lunch program for the community. The Council first tackled the vending machines. They chose not to ban pop and candy entirely. Instead they decreased the number of junk food items, added a variety of healthier choices, and created a "reverse" pricing system. The "reverse" pricing system charges lower amounts for healthier options and significantly higher amounts for junk food options. This system has encouraged students to try the healthier options and has often "won them over." Secondly, the students identified a local organization called BistroKids that now provides healthy lunches two days per week. The lunches are made from ingredients that are organic and as often as possible, locally grown, including vegetables from our school gardens. The lunch program has made an incredible difference for our school. The foods are delicious and we all enjoy eating together. Positive differences have also been reported in the classroom experience. Students are experiencing first hand how their efforts made a difference in our school, in the community (neighbors often join us for lunch), and in their families.
Changes and Benefits We've Achieved
We have not solved 100% of the challenges we identified, and we have made great progress. We have healthy options that support local agriculture for at least two days per week. We believe the changes we made in our small school have implications for our families, our local community, and the world.
Our healthy food options were made possible by: our students, parents, faculty, the Social Justice & Sustainability Team, BistroKids, two local foundations, the Kansas City Community Garden's Edible Schoolyards program,and Good Nature Family Farms (a coop of local farmers).
How We Involved Students
The changes were initiated by the students in our Student Council. They, in turn, engaged other students through dialogue, education,and free samples!
Our Timeline for Change
We began the process of this change in fall of 2007.
Resources We Used
Our Inspiration and Motivation
The positive results were almost immediate, although difficult to quantify. We still have to do fund raising regularly to ensure the continuation of the program.
We hope to expand to a full week of healthy lunches. We'd also like to consider offering healthy breakfast options in the future as well.
Our Advice to Other Schools
Healthy food costs more, and education and awareness only go so far in convincing people that healthy food now costs less later. We have been pleasantly surprised at the positive response from out students, faculty and parents.
Tools to Share
Greenabilitymagazine.org (October 2008)