• Recently, local and national leaders came together during an all-school assembly at Columbia Elementary to recognize five St. Louis Public Schools for incorporating fun and engaging lessons stressing the importance of exercise and eating healthy into daily curriculum.

    District schools with gardens include: Columbia Elementary, Cote Brilliante Elementary, Gateway Michael Elementary, Clay Elementary, and Sumner High School.

    Congressman William Lacy Clay, US Representative-District #1, congratulated students and staff for their efforts, and took hard-hitting questions from students such as, “What"s it like being a Congressman?” and “Where do you work?”

    Kevin Holloway, Vice President of Marketing from Monsanto, presented gift baskets filled with seeds to principals and garden leaders from the five schools. Monsanto"s community outreach has supported gardens at the schools as well as the Clyde C. Miller"s Greenhouse which teaches biotechnology in the classroom.

    Gwenne Hayes-Stewart, Executive Director of Gateway Greening, talked about the experiences she has had working with St. Louis Public Schools for several decades. Gateway Greening donates a variety of plants during the garden season and provides volunteers who teach students how to care for their gardens.

    Maggie Menefee, representative from Healthy Youth Partnership, thanked the district for educating students on the value of a healthy lifestyle. Healthy Youth Partnership works with a variety of schools across the district to combat childhood obesity through unique programs and activities.

    However, the most exciting part of the assembly was when George Nash, Resident District Manager of Chartwells, introduced the Eat.Learn.Live. Characters, Theodore Eat, Sydney C. Learn, and Ava Live.

    Overjoyed students ran to give the mascots hugs and high fives, and even Congressman Clay couldn"t stop laughing and smiling as he worked with the staff to hand out healthy snacks courtesy of Chartwells.

    Althea Alberts-Santiago, the Health and Wellness Coordinator for St. Louis Public Schools, was thankful for the support the district has received from the community. Stating, “The district is working tirelessly to encourage students and their families to make healthy choices, and it is wonderful to have such support from the neighborhoods as well as organizations like the ones here.”

    For more information please contact the Office of Public Information (314) 345-2367.