Susan Burch, Food Services Director of the Littlefield Unified School District (Arizona) has once again been awarded a fruit-and-vegetable grant which will provide nutritious snacks for the Beaver Dam Eaglets throughout the school year.
Of course if you refer to her as Susan Burch, no one will know who you talking about.
She’s “Miss Susan” to all who know her. The students at Beaver Dam Elementary School (BDES) are called “Eaglets” to encourage them to soar in their educational efforts.
Although 340 schools applied for the fruit-and-vegetable grant, only 105 schools received it. This is the fifth year that Miss Susan has been successful in bringing the grant to BDES. Where she finds the time to take on this extra work after feeding hundreds of students each day is anyone’s guess! The Eaglets and entire staff are just sure they are very fortunate to have Miss Susan in charge of her restaurant and their meals and snacks.
Students can look forward to a variety of items which will be delivered to their classrooms three days each week. Because of the increase in food prices, Miss Susan and her staff can no longer provide the treats four days a week. All of the fruits and vegetables are fresh, and the day’s treats may include broccoli, oranges, jicama, raspberries, bananas, carrots, grapes or something brand new. Teachers agree that it’s a real pleasure to watch the children learn to love food that is good for them. You won’t see the Eaglets munching on candy, chips or other “treats” often offered at school stores.
Where I taught in another state they had a school store, and the children came to class after lunch high on junk food. It is really a positive step for the health of these children to nourish them properly and teach them how to eat and enjoy healthy foods.
In order to receive the grant, Miss Susan provided information on the Supplemental Educational Services (SES) status of the school, the number of children who would benefit, and clearly stated how the funds would be used.
Her program has always ended the year fully in compliance with the grant’s financial record keeping requirements. Attendance at a Nutritional Education seminar in Phoenix, Ariz., was also required.
Miss Susan works from her office at the elementary school. Unlike some food and beverage managers, she prefers the ambiance of working within the school community rather than being isolated in an administrative office. It is this personal touch which makes Miss Susan’s restaurant such a happy place and one which the Eaglets will remember throughout their journey through life. Good nutrition helps make for a good education, another quality which shines at Beaver Dam Elementary School, the Hidden Gem of the Valley.
(Editor’s note: Although Arizona schools are now exempted from the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, those with a sufficient percentage of students coming from low-income families are eligible to receive SES grants, funded under the act.)