Pass the veggies, please.

Everybody knows that children have a soft spot for junk food. That’s why Springport FFA in Michigan created a fun program to help young students choose their food more wisely. They held a Nutrition Day Camp for students in kindergarten through fifth grade over summer break, educating them on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle through gardening and agriculture.

The event took place during 11 Tuesdays throughout the summer in the agriculture barn in Springport. Eight Springport FFA members worked as counselors for the camp, helping develop agricultural education for the participants.

Fifty elementary students attended the camp, where they learned about the food groups, how to care for a garden and more. Hands-on activities were created to engage the students, and garden snacks were served. Many of the elementary students took their projects home, sharing the information they’d learned with their families. Parents soon began asking how to make the snacks their children had eaten during camp sessions.

As the students learned important lessons about health, Springport FFA members learned to be counselors, leaders and role models for young people. They encouraged healthy living and learned more about it themselves along the way.

The Springport FFA chapter was finalist in the 2010 National Chapter Models of Innovation award program in the area of Student Development.

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