Please don't eat the books – just the cars

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Kaylee Clough posing with her new book and her completed cucumber car.

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Submitted photo

Kaylee Clough posing with her new book and her completed cucumber car.

OROVILLE – On Monday evening, May 14, families of Oroville Elementary students gathered in the school cafeteria to learn a little bit about reading informational text and reading to follow directions.

The students used those skills to create food sculptures inspired by the art and photography of Seymour Freymann and Joost Elffers, co-creators of the book Food Play and several others. Parents and children read about the nutritional value of cucumbers and radishes, then used those vegetables to create a cucumber car, driven by a radish driver. These works of art could be eaten later.

Every elementary student was also able to choose a free book to add their home library. These books were provided by the Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Foundation through their RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) program. The elementary school has received a grant from Page Ahead every year for the past seven years to provide three free books to students each year.

The nutritional emphasis was inspired by the school’s participation in the federal Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Healthy Snack program. For the past three years, Oroville Elementary has had the good fortune to be awarded this grant, which provides a healthy fruit or vegetable snack to every student every school day. In addition, students get to learn about healthy eating choices, the nutrients and vitamins that fruits and vegetables provide, and all the health benefits that eating a well-balanced diet bring.

Nutritional information and cookbooks with tips on healthy snacking were provided at our “Please Don’t Eat the Books” event as well. We think it is important to nourish the body as well as the mind!