THE HCS CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAM
NEWSLETTER MAY 2022
We would like to thank everyone for helping to make this a very productive and rewarding year. Depsite all of the circumstances that we faced, our district still made things happen within the community. Now it is time to turn our attention to preparing for our annual Summer Food Service Program. This event gives us such a wonderful opportunity to assit the Huntsville population with meals this summer when school is not in session.
We also want to wish all of the 2022 graduates the best of luck in the future as they proceed to the next phase of thier lives. Lastly, we hope all of you have a great summer!
Inspirational Quote of the Month
“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” —Oprah Winfrey
School Lunch Hero Day 2022
DID YOU KNOW?
Break for a Plate is a Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) created to ensure all Alabama children can continue to receive nutritious meals throughout their time away from school.
A federally-funded, state-administered program, it reimburses providers who serve free, healthy meals to children and teens aged 18 and younger when school is not in session.
While many receive free and reduced meals during the school year, children need healthy food all year long.
This is a reimbursement program based on meals served. Program sites are deemed eligible based on USDA requirements as determined by the Alabama State Department of Education.
Too many of our children are hungry:
- 1 of 5 U.S. children lack enough nutritious food
- 1 in 4 Alabama children live in families with food hardships
- Nearly 60% of Alabama public school children eat free/reduced school lunches
- Nationally, 10 million+ children—nearly 1 in 7—lived in poverty in 2019
- The child poverty rate is 1.5 times that for adults 18-64 and adults 65 and older
- Alabama is the nation’s sixth poorest state, with 300,000 children living in poverty.
- From 2010 to 2020, Alabama has lowered the food insecurity rate by 3%
- In 2014, 76 sponsors served 1,995,852 meals. In 2017, 114 sponsors served 2,896,580 meals.
- The number of organizations providing children’s meal locations tripled across the state, 2014-2020
Child hunger and malnutrition contribute to:
- Stunted growth, risk of illness, obesity, hospitalizations
- Poor school performance, disruptive behavior, emotional problems
- Decreased workforce readiness and skills
25 Best Summer Activities for Kids to Have A Blast This Summer
Summers are around the corner. That means your kids are out of school and ready to turn your house upside down.
So, before kids get settled into a lazy summer routine, you should chalk out some fun summer activities to keep them busy. Summer holidays are the perfect time to teach new skills, develop hobbies among kids, or create some precious family moments.
Below we have listed down 25 engaging and fun summer activities for kids to have a blast this holiday season. So, let’s plan summer activities for your little rockstars.
Backyard Summer Activities for Kids
Image of kids enjoying backyard summer activities for kids
Due to the pandemic, traveling or going out with kids isn’t a feasible option in many parts of the world. Therefore, you can use your backyard to plan exciting outdoor summer activities for your kids. For instance:
1. Backyard Camping
Take out your portable tents, dig a small fire pit in your backyard, and you are all set to spend summer in your backyard. Your kids can roast marshmallows and dance around a fire pit every night instead of being coped in their rooms with gadgets.
2. Backyard Stargazing
If putting a tent and fire pit in your backyard is not possible, you can lay down a bed sheet and watch stars in the clear summer sky. You can even buy those fancy telescopes and use the summer holiday as an opportunity to introduce astronomy to your kids.
3. Backyard Bird Watching
You can put a bird feeder and water pitcher in your backyard to attract some migratory birds this summer. Using old cardboard boxes and paint, you can also build a DIY bird feeder with your kids. Your kids can watch rare bird species in your backyard and develop empathy towards these little creatures.
4. Backyard Obstacle Course
You can build an obstacle course in your backyard that your kids and their friends can use to play and stay active all summer. Using jumping ropes, old tires, stones, and hoses, you can build a miniature version of a military-level obstacle course in your backyard. It is a bit of work on your part, but once it is done, your kids will not leave the backyard for the whole summer – that’s a guarantee.
5. Backyard Bicycle Track
Riding bikes on the street is never a safe option for kids, even under supervision. Thus, create a bicycle track there if your background has sufficient space. This will keep your kid busy and you stress-free all summer.
Art Summer Activities for Kids
Image of a girl enjoying art summer activities for kids
Art is the best way to stimulate creativity, develop coordination between hands, and improve cognitive skills among skills. So, do include these art activities in your child’s summer curriculum:
6. Splash Color Balloons
This is a messy but enjoyable art activity that your whole family can enjoy together. Grab some water balloons and cheap white t-shirts from your local store. Then, put colorful water in balloons, wear those new white t-shirts and splash color balloons on one another to create DIY dyed t-shirts at home.
7. Paint Windows
If your kids are big enough to handle emulsion paint, use the summer holidays to upscale your home. You can paint your old faded house windows with your kids. Also, let kids paint colorful flowers, patterns, and cartoon characters on windows.
8. Print with Pebbles
Take your kids out for an evening stroll to enjoy the fresh air and collect different shapes of pebbles present on the street. Once they have a decent pebbles collection, let them dip them in paint and use them to create a colorful abstract painting.
9. Learn to Cook
Summers are the perfect time to pass on your family recipes to your kids. You can appoint your kid as your assistant chef and let them help you in the kitchen for the whole summer holidays. This activity can help to develop culinary skills among your kids.
10. Make Clay Objects
You can get a small clay oven for your kids and let them create different clay objects all summer in your garage. If possible, enroll your kid into clay making online class so they can sculpt some excellent home decor items for you.
Pool Summer Activities for Kids
Image of a kid enjoying pool summer activities for kids
There is no better way to spend the summer holidays than longing all day in the pool. Your kids can play water sports, learn swimming and try several other pool activities this summer season, such as:
11. Guess the Word
This is a fabulous pool game to help your kids learn deep diving. Gather around all your neighborhood kids in your backyard pool. Select a messenger and guesser among the group. Ask the messenger to shout a word underwater, and the guesser has to guess that word.
12. Pool Obstacle Course
This is a pool version of an obstacle course. Your entire family can enjoy this pool activity together. You can create a difficult or simple obstacle course in the pool based on your kids’ age. To create an obstacle course, use waste pool floats, pool noodles, hula hoops, etc.
13. Synchronized Swimming Routine
You can set a synchronized swimming routine for your kids and let them practice all summer. Before the summer holidays end, you can host a pool party and allow your kids perform for all the guests.
14. Diving Toys
You can order some diving toys for your toddler and put a shallow kid’s pool in your backyard. After that, you won’t hear a peep from your kid the whole summer.
15. Summer Pool Olympics
If you have a decent-sized pool at your home or in society, use it to host pool Olympics. You can invite over your kid’s friends and organize a series of pool games for them, including relay races, water volleyball, and more. You can maintain a scoreboard and even order medals to make your pool Olympics more natural and fun.
Outdoor Summer Activities for Kids
Image of kids enjoying outdoor summer activities for kids
Since your kids have been cooped inside the home for a year and a half now; so, you can plan some outdoor summer activities to reintroduce them to nature. However, avoid taking your kids to crowded places as the COVID-19 is still a significant threat. You can take your kids to:
16. Explore Local Festivals
Summer is loaded with fests where you can enjoy good food and fun rides with your kids. So, go online and search for intimate local festivals that are being held in your city to take your kids and have some fun.
17. Go to Nursery
Do you want to develop a gardening hobby among your kids? Then, take them to a local nursery in your area and show them different types of flowers. You can also ask them to pick a few flowers to put in your home garden. Also, look if any flower festivals are going around in your city to take your kids.
18. Visit an Orphanage/Old Age Home
You can use the summer holidays to encourage your kids to do some volunteer work. Take your kids to a nursing home or orphanage to allow them to help other people and show empathy in a better manner.
19. Go on a Picnic
To celebrate a bright sunny day with your family, pack a picnic basket and visit your local park. You can enjoy good food, outdoor games, and laughter with your kids while basking in the fresh sun rays.
20. Lemonade Stall
Do you support any charity? If yes, motivate your kids to be part of your charitable organization by raising some funds. You can set up a fresh and sweet lemonade stall in your society to teach some entrepreneurial skills to your kids.
Miscellaneous Summer Activities for Kids
Image of kids sitting in the backyard
Summer is a fun time. You have many opportunities to make summer entertaining and educational for your kids, such as:
21. Paint Sidewalks
If your neighbors are alright with it, you can use foam paint to decorate boring concrete sidewalks with your kids. You can also invite your neighborhood kids to turn over the appearance of all your neighborhood sidewalks entirely.
22. Paint Rocks
You can take your kids to a local park in your area to collect a few rocks. And, later on, put an art station in your living room for them to paint rocks into different characters and animals like a ladybug, Scooby-Doo, etc.
23. Scavenger Hunt
Who doesn’t love scavenger hunts? So, you can host an indoor or outdoor scavenger hunt for your kids and their friends this summer. For your scavenger hunt, you can choose a unique theme to make kids more exciting, like the detective theme, animal theme, etc.
24. Games Night
Summer break is the perfect time to host a family game night, even in the midst of the week. Since there is no pressure to wake up early in the morning during the summer holidays, you can organize frequent game nights. You can even invite your friends and their kids to make game nights more fun.
25. Open Movie Theater
You can order a portable projector and play your kid’s favorite movies on a big screen in your backyard. This can be a great summer memory that you can always relish, even when your kids get too big to spend some with you.
Just Make Summer Fun
No matter how old you get, you will never forget how much fun you used to have during your summer break. Those long evening strolls, playing around the house, ice cream eating contests, and staying awake all night. These are some summer activities that no person can ever forget.
So, you can plan all educational and sports summer activities for your kids, but don’t forget to make them fun because fun is what your kids will remember their whole life.
Reference: 25 Best Summer Activities for Kids to Have A Blast This Summer | SplashLearn
CNP EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT
Ms. Lashunda Freeman, Child Nutrition Program Supervisor at the Academy for Science & Foreign Language
Ms. Lashunda Freeman has been with the Huntsville City Schools Child Nutrition Program for over 17 years. She has two children named Jas and Terrell. Lashunda also has three grandchildren, and their names are Journee, Jamoree, and Braiden. Lashunda describes herself as a fun-loving person and she is originally from Gadsden, Alabama.
Before Lashunda worked at Huntsville City Schools, she was employed by Tyson Foods for eight years. She expresses that what she likes most about her job is the interaction with children and feeding them. When she is not working, Lashunda likes to spend time with her children and grandchildren. She tells us that she is motivated in her role because of her love for cooking and seeing the smiles on the children’s faces.
Lashunda states that the highlight of her career is listening to the stories and jokes that the kids always look to share with her. Her favorite food is the chicken and Crispitos that the Child Nutrition Program serves in the schools.
Lashunda feels that she is a great mother to her children. The types of music that she likes are Gospel and 90’s R and B. Lashunda explains that her love of feeding the kids is what keeps her working in the Child Nutrition Program. Her favorite hobby is sleeping and drinking coffee.
Lashunda believes that Child Nutrition is important because it entails making sure that every child receives a nutritious meal and gives them a smile to help them have a good day. Her favorite sport is College football where she roots for the University of Auburn Tigers. Lashunda hopes to one day fly in an airplane. She defines success as getting through each day one day at a time.
EMPLOYEES OF THE MONTH
Bussapha Buchanan 5/20
Gina Waits 5/21
Patricia Fletcher 5/22