The 7th Grade students at Polaris Charter Academy in partnership with Gourmet Gorilla are asking for your help in financing our school project to bring healthy, fresh produce to the families at our school.
Currently, our 7th graders are in an expedition about food using the guiding question “how does one affect food choice?” During our expedition, students will explore the concept of where our food comes from and the concept of sustainability and sustainable development. They will learn about the interactions between social, economic, and environmental systems, and their necessary interdependence for achieving sustainable development as a possible goal.
The enthusiasm for learning of the students at my Polaris is unparalleled. They come to science ready to be challenged. They are given the opportunity to grapple with real-world complex issues as the vehicle to learn key scientific concepts and standards. It may be noisy with groups of students actively engaged with experiments or absolutely silent as they work on an independent reflection or assignment. Noisy or quiet the students are always focused and trying to find new ways to critically think about solving problems.
The problem students are currently trying to tackle is the juxtaposition between what they are studying and what is available in their neighborhood. Students have been learning about the cascading consequences of the industrial food chain and the benefits of eating locally. However, as they look around their neighborhood the availability of calorie-dense and nutrient-poor foods and beverages are what is plentiful. Our neighborhood is a food desert, an area without easy access to affordable, nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat milk. There are only a convenience store and a fast-food restaurant within walking distance.
Students are wanted to work to increase healthy food access for their family. One way they hope to do this is by partnering with Gourmet Gorilla, our school lunch provider, to put together produce bags to provide to the families at our school. Your donation will help us finance this project so we can provide healthy, fresh produce to Polaris families for free.
Polaris Charter Academy, located in the West Humboldt Park/East Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago, is an Expeditionary Learning (EL) School. EL Schools, strive to exemplify project based learning through expeditions where students engage in interdisciplinary, in-depth study of compelling topics, in groups and in their community, with assessment coming through cumulative products, public presentations, and portfolios. The model emphasizes high levels of student engagement, achievement, and character development.