Leader Blues

Friday, August 18, 2006

TOP STORY >>Nutritionstressed this year at PCSSD

IN SHORT: Lunch programs are improved for better health.

By PEG KENYON
Leader staff writer

After checking off school-supply lists and shopping for approved attire, many parents will turn their attention to the food their children will be served in the Pulaski County Special School District this year.

According to Michael Harvey, child nutrition director for PCSSD, school lunches provide one-third of the recommended daily allowances for calories, protein, iron and calcium as well as vitamins A and C for students.

Students in grades K-6 receive lunch consisting of 664 calories and meals for students in grades 7-12 have 825 calories.
The USDA provides a meal pattern for not only school lunches but also breakfast programs.

The school lunch meal includes two ounces of cooked lean meat or meat alternate, a serving of bread or grain product with eight servings per week and three-fourth of a cup of two or more vegetables or fruits.

Low-fat milk is also the beverage of choice for the USDA school lunch meal pattern.

Harvey said the lunch programs had undergone renovations in the past. “We made all our changes last year,” Harvey told The Leader.

A September lunch menu for students at the secondary educational level includes soft tacos, spaghetti, potatoes and broccoli salad. Fruits and desserts listed for that month included apple cobbler, pineapples, blueberry cobbler and apples.
For pre-K and third-graders, lun-ches range from pizza to chicken-fried steak with gravy.
Strawberry bars, peaches, vanilla cream cookies, grapes and honey graham crackers are among the desserts and fruits that will be served this fall.

Before heading to lunches based on Department of Agriculture guidelines, uniformed students will need school supplies ranging from No. 2 pencils to boxes of baby wipes before classes start on Monday.

Some district patrons have seen cash registers ringing up totals averaging between $25 and $30 without purchases of clear or mesh backpacks, standardized uniforms, bookstore items and weekly reading material subscriptions.

Parents of students enrolled in art classes at Bayou Meto Elementary School are purchasing yarn, thin metal hangers, modeling material and antibacterial hand soap. For first graders, students should have a 64-count box of Crayola crayons.
At Jacksonville Elementary School, fifth-graders look as though they may be experiencing a lot of colds during the 2006-2007 school year. Four large boxes of Kleenex appear on their list of school supplies. Fourth graders may feel better because their list requires three boxes of tissues.

Along with two boxes of Kleenex, Arnold Drive Elementary fifth-grade students should be equipped with pocketsize dictionaries. Lists did not include loose-leaf binders, trapper-keepers or school boxes. Ziploc bags, cotton balls, rubbing alcohol, paper plates and Fiskars for Kids scissors frequently appeared on older school supply lists.
The usual glue, crayons, pencils, erasers and writing paper still remain on the lists.

Parents of Sylvan Hills Elementary fifth graders are instructed to label their children supplies while parents of Arnold Drive Elementary second graders were instructed not to put their child’s name on pencils, tablets, notebook paper, glue or boxes of Kleenix.

Sixth-grade students at Jacksonville Girls Middle School will need a calculator, a big pink eraser and a bottle of all-purpose cleaner as well as other items.

While sorting through the school supplies, parents of students below the high school level in Jacksonville must learn the type and color of clothing allowed by each school.

It begins with youngsters who will be attending Adkins Pre-K facility. Shirts of red, white or blue are allowed.
Tolleson Elementary School in-cludes those colors but tacks on burgundy as an approved color for shirts to be worn because students move onto Northwood Middle School and North Pulaski High School. Those two school colors include burgundy.

At Jacksonville Elementary, light blue shirts may be worn in addition to red, white and dark blue. Royal blue shirts, along with navy blue and white, are allowed at Sylvan Hills Middle School. The school colors also include royal blue.
District-wide policy dictates navy blue or khaki for slacks for students not yet in high school.

After checking off school supply lists and shopping for appropriately and approved colorful attire, parents may turn their attention to the lunch boxes their children may prefer to carry from home for the 2006-2007 school year.