May 25, 2001

They Can Read, Write, and Rap

San Diego City School's Food Services Department along with the Pear Bureau Northwest and SeaWorld California posed the question, "Why is it important to eat school meals?". Children from kindergarten to grade 12 responded in an essay, poetry, and rap contest.

Vista Grande Elementary School celebrated their student winners by saluting them in an awards assembly. Dana Nasset, a second grade teacher at Vista Grande Elementary School supported the efforts of the Food Services Department to improve creativity, writing skills, and health awareness. She said [the contest] helped to make "writing such a fun part of the curriculum".

First place winners received a $50.00 gift card for Barnes & Nobel Book Sellers and a gift. Winners were: Austin McCalley from Hearst Elementary for grades K-2, Shane R. Mack from Edison Elementary for grades 3-5, Dana Faghih-Nassiri from Clark Middle School for grades 6-8, and Luis Padilla from Mission Bay High School for grades 9-12.

Second place winners received a $30.00 gift card for Barnes & Nobel Book Sellers and a gift. Those winners included: Gabriel Iglesia from Hage Elementary for grades K-2, Alexis Ramos from Carver Elementary for grades 3-5, Raineir Pesebre from Zamora-no Elementary for grades 6-8, and Manuel Roman from Crawford High School for grades 9-12.

In third place received a $20.00 gift card for Barnes & Nobel Book Sellers and a gift. Winners were: Alexander Passenheim from Bay Park Elementary for Grades K-2, Dane Coburn from Ross Elementary for grades 3-5, Crystal Gonzales from Clark Middle School for grades 6-8, and Nazret Weldeghtorgis from SDSCPA for grades 9-12.

Honorable Mentions with Distinction received a $10.00 Blockbuster gift card and binoculars. Those winners included; Ankur Maniar from Dingeman (grade K), Kailah Whitted from Vista Grande (grade K), Devin Saunders from Vista Grande (grade 2), Samantha Gonzales (grade 2), Jaimi Cooks from Perry Elementary (grade 1), Rachel Malonzo from Bethune Elementary (grade 2), Kevin Jones from Hawthorne Elementary (grade 2), and Thien Nguyen from Farb Middle School (grade 6). There were also 230 honorable mentions that received binoculars as a reward.

Dana Faghih-Nassiri, a 7th grader from Clark Middle School said, "I think it is important to eat school meals because that's how you get your energy, through food, but if you don't have energy you won't be able to do your best in school". Dana understands and now a lot of other kids do, too! Congratulations to all who participated, and keep up the good work!

Article Submitted by Marie Ambrose, Dietetic Intern, Utah State University.

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