Farm to School to White House:The First Lady invites 5 Milton students to garden

John L. Barone, Sr., Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Milton Town School District

802-893-3210 x1110 or [email protected]

First Lady Michelle Obama, has invited 30 students – five of them from Milton – to help garden at the White House next week, April 4, 2013.

Five Milton students will get the once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet First Lady Michelle Obama next week after being invited to help her plant vegetables in the White House garden.

Superintendent Dr. John Barone said Obama’s assistant called him last Friday, and he could barely keep the news quiet.

“Getting a call from the White House is not a daily occurrence,” he said.

Barone learned the first lady was aware of the school’s efforts in serving healthy, whole foods as called for in federal regulations Mrs. Obama champions.

Food Service Director Steve Marinelli’s blog post, “Five Simple Tips to Get Kids Excited about Fruits and Veggies, Vermont Style,” was recently featured on the Let’s Move blog, Obama’s initiative to get kids active and healthy.

Marinelli, five fifth-graders, two teachers (Mrs. Judy Brady and Mr. Christopher Schmid) and a handful of chaperones will fly to the nation’s capital on April 3, the day before the event, Barone said.

The five students – Sara Schmoll, Cassie Allen, Hannah Svenson, Nolan Deep and Will Muzzy – were selected by lottery after each homeroom picked three candidates at random. The finalists were selected by their homeroom teachers and their Principal, Mary Jane Stinson. In addition the students wrote essays about the Vermont farm-to-school movement.

Milton received a $7,500 grant to support our Farm to School Initiative. Vermont Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross told Marinelli his food service model – which makes use of local, fresh produce – is a model for the nation.

And now Milton kids will get a chance to show the nation what they’ve got. They’ll join 25 others at the garden, Barone said.

The superintendent estimates the trip will cost roughly $15,000 for airfare, lodging, in-city transportation and meals for the group of 13. The Milton Town School District would like to thanks the following businesses/organizations for their donations to help make this possible:

· The Vt. Community Foundation

· Common Roots

· Hunger Free Vermont

· Vt. Farm to Plate

· Husky (both the local affiliation and the corporate offices)

· Gardner’s Supply

· The Vermont Dairy Council

· The Vermont Education Health Initiative (VEHI)

· The Milton Community Youth Coalition

· The Milton Teachers’ Association

A special thanks to the Vermont Agency of Education for their encouragement and support.

Press Release

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