Kelly Miller Middle School Healthy School Team

Starsha Valentine AyaUplift Workforce Development Program, Kelly Miller Middle School, The Farm at Kelly Miller, Urban Agriculture

By Kat Riascos, Kelly Miller Middle School FoodCorps Service Member

The winter has been long here at Kelly Miller but we are keeping our spirits high while planning and preparing for the spring! Our Healthy School Team meetings have especially filled me with hope and excitement as our days have grown cloudy and short.

Each month, the Healthy School Team meets to take time to plan events and activities that foster a culture of health and wellness at the school. Although the meetings are open to the entire school, the attendees generally change each gathering time: from teachers and administrators, to school partners, and most recently students!

In our last meeting students helped to plan the activities for National Nutrition Month in March. They were most excited about planning a student basketball game where we will sample healthy, post exercise snacks. We also took time to record the issues they want heard by their school meal providers, during DC Central Kitchen’s next School Advisory Board meeting. They were brimming with suggestions and were happy to share.

Meeting with these motivated students was amazing, their insight and ideas were invaluable. This meeting drove home the fact that creating a healthier school environment cannot be done without the student’s input. Before this meeting I thought that I was doing well at getting students involved – our X-Drive focuses on student-led lessons – but the fact that students weren’t present at the first two Healthy School Team meetings signifies there are changes that need to be made.

The staff at Kelly Miller have shown Dreaming Out Loud and I such support, and without their guidance, none of the projects we’ve accomplished would have been possible. But in order to create lasting change in the school, students need to be heard and changes need to be made accordingly. As this service year progresses, I will to ensure that there are always several seats at the table for the students I serve. There should be nothing decided about them without them.

Signing Off,
Kat Riascos