Contact: Tracie Thomas

310-450-8338, Ext. 342


October 20, 2000

Golden Bell Award Rings for Santa Monica-Malibu Schools

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has been awarded the prestigious Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association (CSBA) for the District's innovative Farmers' Market Fresh Fruit and Salad Bar Program under the direction of Tracie Thomas, Supervisor of Operations, SMMUSD Food and Nutritional Services Department. The CSBA Golden Bell Awards Program promotes excellence in education by recognizing outstanding programs in school districts and county offices of education throughout California. The Golden Bell Awards reflect the depth and breadth of the educational programs necessary to address students' changing needs. The goal of this awards program is to contribute to the development and evaluation of curriculum and support services. The Golden Bell Award will be presented at a special ceremony at the Marriott Hotel in Long Beach on December 2nd from noon to 2:00 p.m.

On September 17,1997, Ms. Thomas first launched the original Farmers' Market Salad Bar at McKinley Elementary School in Santa Monica, as part of the school's regular food service lunch program. The salad bar featured high quality, organic fruits and vegetables purchased directly from farmers at local farmers' markets, prepared by a salad bar coordinator and parent volunteers. Because the items served reflected the tastes and preferences of the community, the food selections were culturally appropriate. Clearly, the idea was one whose time had come: to date, the program has been successfully implemented at eleven district school sites and will be operational in all sites by the end of December, 2000.

Santa Monica-Malibu's Farmers' Market Salad Bar blueprint has evolved into a multi-faceted program that includes farm tours, farmers' market tours, certified chef cooking demonstrations is classrooms, cooking cart lessons that are connected to district wide curriculum, nutritional education materials, presentations from the California Sushi Academy (live on campuses) and a natural transition into gardening and composting. School-based laboratories cultivate environmental awareness, stimulate physical activity and provide participating students with a sense of pride as they actually grow some of the food served in their Salad Bar.

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District

1651 16th St., Santa Monica, CA 90404 • 310-450-8338 • fax 310-581-1138 •