Over 300 Take Part In Milk Day Of Action!Fri 10 Jun 2011
Story by Jessica Tully
On Thursday, June 9th, the Food Revolution celebrated the Flavored Milk Day of Action, our first-ever coordinated, localized action. Grassroots leaders organized student activities, public demonstrations, and conversations with school officials to urge their communities to join the national trend of school districts moving away from serving flavored milk. Results and reactions have been streaming in from around the country. They are inspiring and point the way to much more change to come.
Responding to the call of the Food Revolution, more than 300 individuals stepped forward to sign up to lead Day of Action events. They were equipped with a 12-page planning "Playbook," fact sheets, templates of letters to school officials, sample flyers, a Sweetened Milk Calculator, and most importantly, ways to connect with each other. In the run up to June 9th, parents and students held preliminary meetings, made plans, organized their information, and reached out to open communication with school officials.
On June 9th, they delivered results.
In Watertown, MA, a parent committee collaborated with the school principal and a local pediatric medical office to distribute free white milk to elementary students and white bracelets imprinted with "MOO." Children were animated and excited as they drank cool, delicious, plain milk in a lunchroom decorated for the occasion.
In Los Angeles, CA, high schoolers planned an activity-filled assembly about making healthy choices, and they all donned self-styled white milk mustaches made from simple stickers.
In South Berwick, Maine, students filled gallon milk jugs one teaspoon at a time with sugar, amounting to the nearly 2 gallons of sugar a year that a child would drink if they chose chocolate milk at every school meal. They presented the jugs to the school principal, to initiate a conversation about making the switch.
As excited reports filled the newly established Flavored Milk Day of Action Facebook Group, they triggered responses from newly engaged parents who used the Day of Action to fire off a letter to their school principals, launching their campaigns.
From Big Lake, Minnesota, one reported:
"I sent my campaign emails this morning and heard back from the Principal almost immediately! She stated the school will be working toward removing sugary milk and offering a healthier school lunch program. She forwarded my email to the Director of Food Services for the District who will provide more details. A positive start!"
In Las Virgenes Unified School District in Southern California, parent advocates have used this time to begin planning for a powerful, exciting, "Milk Madness Week" in the fall that will engage students, parents, and administrators for a full school week in these important issues of health and good food choices.
And parent leaders in Vancouver, WA, were thrilled to report that the Evergreen Public Schools are preparing to eliminate flavored milk beginning next fall!
Parents, schools, and Food Revolutionaries find themselves at many different stages of this exciting, new movement. What is clear is that change is afoot, and this is just the beginning. Our kids deserve better.
Stay tuned for more news reports from the Flavored Milk Day of Action and ideas on what's next!
About the author: Jessica Tully is an artist and a California based Field Organizer for the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution.
Photo: Theo Vachon, Age 6, takes the pure milk challenge and the Milk Day of Action Map.
To learn more about the impacts of flavored milk, read our updated fact sheet.
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