Keeping the Doctor Away

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, Chesnut students and staff took a bite in a healthy direction yesterday in the cafeteria. The special farm-to-school lunch item of the month was Granny Smith apples from Dexter’s Farm in Buford, Georgia. Leading up to the event, Chesnut Changers promoted the locally grown apples to their peers with posters, a morning announcement apple cheer, and word of mouth.

For most who tasted their apple, including Chesnut’s Principal Dr Reid, the sweet and sour flavor of the Granny Smith was a hit. One third grader declared, “I like apples, they are my favorite” and a first grader observed, “I like the flavor – it tastes like sweet.”

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Next month the Chesnut Changers will promote locally grown baked sweet potato. Chesnut Changers Parent Sponsors Elizabeth Davis and Angela Renals photographed Chesnut Changers with their apples and counted how many children ate apple in the K-3 classes. We will discuss the results of our first marketing campaign in our next after-school meeting on Tuesday, November 1st, and brainstorm new ways to heighten awareness of the locally grown lunch item.

Chesnut Changers Celebrate Food Day and National Farm to School Month

Food Day supports eating "real food"Today, October, 24th, is the first Food Day (, sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the purpose of which is to:

“bring together Americans from all walks of life—parents, teachers, and students; health professionals, community organizers, and local officials; chefs, school lunch providers, and eaters of all stripes—to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way.”

With October also being National Farm to School Month (, the good food vibes are in the air, and at Chesnut Elementary, literally on the walls and coming over the loudspeakers.

At their first after-school meeting, Chesnut Changers students learned about the benefits of eating locally grown food and devised a plan to promote Dekalb County’s new Farm to School lunch program, which features one Georgia grown fruit or vegetable on the lunch menu each month. This Wednesday the cafeteria will be serving up Georgia grown Granny Smith apples, and the students have created posters (made from recycled cardboard) hung throughout the school, and a cheer for the morning announcements to help market this locally grown food to their peers.

Parents, please consider joining your child for lunch on Wednesday and sending your child to school with a Granny Smith apple if they don’t buy school lunch, so they can join in the fun. We will report on the success of our local food promotion at our next after-school Chesnut Changers meeting, on November 1st.

Chesnut Changer’s Report: Emma Davis, 3rd Grade

Chesnut Changer's Report
By Emma Davis
At the Ecology Club (Chesnut for Change) meeting, we practiced a cheer to do on the announcements. We hope the cheer will encourage students and teachers to eat the Granny Smith apples on Wednesday, October 26. On that day the apples will be locally grown, which means they were grown near Dunwoody. That’s great, because those apples don’t have to sit on a truck and start rotting. So eat apples this Wednesday!

Here is the cheer:

Form the apple.
Form, form the apple.
Form the apple.
Form, form the apple.
Wash the apple.
Wash, wash the apple.
Wash, the apple.
Wash, wash the apple.
Eat the apple.
Eat, eat the apple.
Eat the apple.
Eat, eat the apple.
Compost the apple.
Com-compost the apple.
Compost the apple.
Com-compost the apple.
Granny Smith Apple!

Chesnut Changer’s Report: Shay Martin, 3rd Grader

Chesnut Changer's ReportDid you know that Chesnut has an ecology club?  The Chesnut for Change (or Ecology Club) started on October 11th in Mrs. Ramo’s room.  We picked a new club name, chose a jingle and made pictures of green apples.  Did you know that each month we have a locally grown fruit or vegetable in the cafeteria?  This month we will have Granny Smith apples.

Chesnut for Change is going to learn to plant and compost and reuse.  We will be working in the courtyard behind the school.

This is Shay Martin signing off!

Chesnut Teachers Sign Up Classes for Garden Outings

Chesnut Changers Sign-up Sheet for the gardenChesnut Changers Garden Leader Carissa Malone and Teacher Sponsor Ms. Ramo have a new system to organize educational class visits to the courtyard vegetable garden. In staff meetings, Ms. Ramo will announce Ms. Malone’s available days and times for the next week, inviting teachers to schedule their class for a 20-minute time slot.

The sign-up sheet — open to all classes — is posted outside Ms. Ramo’s 3rd grade classroom.

During a class’ scheduled visit to the garden, Ms. Malone will engage the students in a selection of hands-on activities (according to the garden’s readiness), including a garden overview, vegetable tasting, planting, harvesting and basic garden maintenance.

Classroom parents are encouraged to attend their child’s garden outings – please contact your teacher if you are interested in participating.

Teachers may also drop by the garden for an impromptu educational visit, utilizing the materials in the garden ladybug (mailbox), which contains a garden map and other children’s gardening books.

Monday, October 24 is Food Day!

Dunwoody Community Garden at Brook Run Park is hosting an open house on Monday, October 24 from 2pm – 6pm to celebrate World Food Day.

Members of the public are invited to tour both the Community Garden and the greenhouse.

The greenhouse is used to grow food for a local food bank.  The Community Garden contains garden plots that can be used by local families and individuals to grow their own food organically.  Much of this food is also donated to the food bank.

The garden is located at the very back of Brook Run Park.  Enter the park by the playground, pass the skate park and the dog park, and the garden will be on your left.  The greenhouse is located next to the skate park.

Hope to see you all there!

Another Post Just For Teachers!

On Wednesday, October 26, Dekalb County students will enjoy locally-grown Granny Smith Apples in the school cafeteria as part of DCSS’ commitment to the Farm to School Program and the local food movement.

For kindergarten teachers interested in using this event to further learning in the classroom, an online kindergarten lesson plan aligned to nine different GPS standards is available through the Decatur Farm To School website.

This website is also a great resource for GPS aligned lesson plans for other grades.

Teachers, This Post Is For You!

Teachers, did you know that the Clean Air Campaign provides many free downloadable lesson plans aligned with grade-level Georgia Performance Standards?

For example, a third-grade three-hour lesson plans allows students to act as “crime scene investigators” by observing the effects of air pollution on the environment and solving a “crime” by identifying sources of air pollution in their community.  In this lesson, each student will make a simple model of a cyclone hopper, an electrostatic precipitator, and a catalytic converter, to learn that air quality can be protected by cleaning up pollution.  This lesson plan is alligned with Georgia Performance Standard 3L2 (students will recognize the effects of pollution and humans on the environment).

A hands-on one-hour kindergarten curriculum entitled “Pardon Me, But What Is Air” uses a combination of math, science and writing activities to allow students to investigate how air tastes, feels, sounds, looks and smells.  This curriculum is aligned to Georgia Performance Standards ELAKW2 (the students begin to write in a variety of genres, including narrative, informational, persuasive and response to literature), MKN1  (students will connect numerals to the quantities they represent),  SKCS1 (atudents will be aware of the curiosity, honesty, openness, and skepticism in science and will exhibit these traits in their own efforts to understand how the world works) and SKE2 (students will describe the attributes of rocks and soils).

Lesson plans are available for all grade levels at the Clean Air Campaign’s website.

Those Radishes Just About Picked Themselves

This gallery contains 12 photos.

Over the past week, Chesnut Changers’ Garden Leader Carissa Malone has hosted harvests and tastings for French Breakfast radishes (the long skinny ones) and Cherry Belle radishes (the round variety). Kindergarteners from Ms. Hobgood’s, Mr. Chicoine’s and Ms. Huitt’s classes helped pick, wash and dip their radishes in a little kosher salt. Ms. Malone explained […]

New Chesnut Changers’ First After-School Meeting

Last week the after-school ecology club had its first meeting in Ms. Ramo’s 3rd grade classroom, where we had much business to handle. We drafted our pledge, brainstormed and voted on our official name (Go Chesnut Changers!) and discussed Dekalb County’s new Farm to School (F2S) lunch program, which features a Georgia grown produce on the lunch menu once a month. Dunwoody Patch Editor Tom Oder attended, capturing the energy in the room in his article, “Sustainability Taking Root at Chesnut Charter.

Could a Granny Smith Point of Purchase label encourage kids to choose apples in the lunch line on October 26th?

We learned how locally grown food is nutrient-rich, and how marketing can help persuade people to choose a product. Then we split up into groups based on interest to write a jingle/cheer and brainstorm posters to advertise our October 26th Georgia grown food: Granny Smith apples. Of course, to describe any product, one needs to be familiar with it, so the students brought in Granny Smith apples to taste while we talked about the benefits of eating whole fruits.

You don’t have to be an after-school member to be a Chesnut Changer! All Chesnut families and staff are welcome to participate in our school-day and Clean and Beautiful activities. For the full meeting notes, or to get involved with the Chesnut Changers’ activities, please email