Plainville Community Schools, 47 Robert Holcomb Way, Plainville CT 06062, (860)793-3200

Toffolon Student Council Brings Additional Healthy Choices To Dining

Students at Louis Toffolon Elementary School now have some additional healthy food and beverage options in the school cafeteria due to the efforts of the school's Student Council.

This year, Student Council members, under the direction of faculty member and advisor Sue Fabrizio, focused on a research based initiative to expand healthy food choices in the school cafeteria. "We used to only have pizza as a lunch choice on Fridays in the cafeteria, so we wanted to expand the lunch options to include something healthier," explained Student Council President Ben Gnazzo. "Also, with recess before lunch, many students were very thirsty during lunch and the water fountain lines would get very long, so we decided to do some research about adding bottled water as a drink option in the cafeteria."

The Student Council members began researching the possibility of bringing in bottled water, and also put together a student survey to gather input. The survey asked Toffolon students if they would prefer small bottled water as a beverage choice for lunch. Another survey question provided four healthy food choices, asking students to select which they would prefer most. As a result of the survey, and in working together with Food Services Director Jim Bondi, a chicken snack wrap option was added to the lunch menu, and bottled chilled spring water was added as an option that students can purchase separately from school lunch. "It was a pleasure to work with the Toffolon Student Council members and to hear their thoughts and ideas on how to make the Toffolon dining experience the best it can be. I found the Student Council members to be very well prepared, open, and articulate," said Bondi.

The bottled water addition has been a "win-win" for the school and the community. "We are able to gather and donate the empty water bottles to the food pantry and we have started a recycling program for cans and bottles with receptacles donated by Lowes," explained Student Council member Morgan Rogers. "So far this year we have donated five jumbo containers of bottles and cans that we have gathered through recycling."

The Student Council members and Mrs. Fabrizio have been very pleased with the results of their efforts to bring additional healthy food choices to the school's cafeteria, and note as an additional positive outcome, shorter lines at the water fountains. "Observing the Student Council as they worked towards their goals was an inspiring process to all involved. Their positive attitudes and determination to make such substantial changes created a level of respect among their peers and teachers. I am extremely proud of their hard work and the accomplishments they achieved during the entire process. The one word that truly comes to mind is Amazing," said Fabrizio.

"At Toffolon we often talk about being an active learner and solving problems appropriately. These students not only voiced a concerned but used their communication skills to gather information and suggest solutions. I am proud of the work of these fifth graders," noted Louis Toffolon Principal, Lynn Logoyke.

When asked how he felt about the successful implementation of the healthy food choice initiative Student Council member Andrew Kane replied, "I wanted to leave a legacy at Toffolon, and I think we did!"

-Posted on May 10, 2012 at 12:22 PM

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