School Stories

Inside the Nation's First Vegetarian Public School

Thursday is always vegetarian, and sometimes vegan, in the cafeteria at Public School 244 in Queens, the nation’s first non-charter public school to serve only vegetarian meals. The 428 pre-kindergartners through third graders lined up at the salad bar and catered bins of jasmine rice, three-bean chili and steamed plantains, with an apple and oatmeal raisin cookie for dessert. None of the children, who live in the surrounding Korean and Asian-American neighborhoods of Flushing, seemed to clamor for the more typical school fare of hot dogs or fried chicken nuggets on that March afternoon. “We don’t necessarily want to promote a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, but you kind of get the message,” said one of the schools’ teachers, Christian Ledesma.

Keep reading...Show less

What Ever Happened to Gym Class? Budget Cuts and the Rise of Childhood Obesity

Elaine Gil is the only gym teacher at P.S. 24, a large and growing dual-language elementary school in the heart of Sunset Park, Brooklyn.  The 50-year-old bounds from class-to-class in her sweatpants, sneakers and t-shirt, teaching 40-minute periods for kindergarten through fifth graders, one after the other. Yet, of the 750 students at the school, only about 450 are able to take physical education in a given year because of limited space and money. And those who do, have gym class only once a week.

Keep reading...Show less
BRAND NEW STORIES
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by fontsempire.com.