Seven teams of student chefs from across the country converged on the U.S. Department of Education (ED) headquarters recently to be judged on their efforts to create innovative and healthy menus for school lunches that would appeal to their fellow students.
The teams were national finalists in the Healthy Schools Campaign Cooking up Change competition. It recognizes and rewards students who develop tasty and nutritious meals that meet the same strict monetary and dietary standards that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets for real school lunches.
Ask anyone in America what they would expect to see when walking through an American high school, and the last thing they’d probably say is a group of students building a house! Yet that’s exactly what goes on each and every day at the Academy of Construction and Design (ACAD), located at the Integrated Design & Electronics Academy (IDEA) Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.
Late last month, the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Labor were privileged to visit this school. During the visit, several high level officials had the opportunity to see this innovative high school apprenticeship program in action.
Education is the great engine of our democracy, and the fuel for that engine is the opportunities students have to engage in activism on issues that are important to them. It is the job of adult allies to nurture and support students in this endeavor. Seven student leaders from across the country came to ED to share how they successfully accomplished advocacy efforts at their respective high schools and college campuses, specifically identifying the supports they received, and how government–teachers, principals, school board members, public college/university administrators, state legislatures, and yes, federal officials–can best support them in their advocacy efforts.