Changing the future of LEARN Excel Scholars… One Bite at a Time

Rebecca Rich is the school social worker at LEARN Excel. She began her career at LEARN two years ago and has spent that time supporting students with their individual needs and building partnerships with organizations to support the entire LEARN Excel community. She is the “Communities in Schools” liaison, which is an organization that works with both traditional public and charter public schools to connect those organizations with schools to provide free services. It was through Communities in Schools that Rebecca was connected to Purple Asparagus.

Purple Asparagus is a nonprofit that runs several different programs. The main program that they run with LEARN Excel is their “Delicious, Nutritious Adventures” program. Within this partnership, Purple Asparagus visits Excel each month to work with their two classes of second grade scholars. Each monthly visit features a different healthy, affordable ingredient that scholars and their families can easily find in grocery stores. For example, the March ingredient was beans and legumes. Throughout the hour, scholars learn about the ingredient, often by reading a book about it. Then, they taste it in a variety of recipes. Finally, they cook with it. At the end of each session, scholars take home the recipes for the dishes that they made to their families.

Purple Asparagus also provides a family program. On one special night at LEARN Excel, scholars tasted and made food alongside their family members. Local grocery stores provided fresh produce to take home and keep cooking with. It is a truly special night at school.

Here are a few things that students and staff have said about the partnership:

  • “I like Purple Asparagus because the food is so good!” -2nd grader
  • “At Purple Asparagus we get to taste the food and cook the food, and it’s fun.” -2nd grader
  • Teachers have expressed how important it is to have a different kind of learning in the classroom, and really enjoy having Purple Asparagus come to their classrooms every month.

It is so important to give students the opportunity to learn about healthy foods. More importantly, these students are building a lasting love for the nutritious food that they are sharing with their families. Thank you Ms. Rich for organizing this incredible partnership with Purple Asparagus and LEARN Excel scholars!