Karen Walls – K-8th Grade Art and Garden at Beethoven Elementary School- Chicago, IL
Karen is a native of Chicago, a product of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), and has worked at Beethoven Elementary School for the past three years. Beethoven is a Healthy School! Not only is Beethoven part of the Fruit and Vegetable Program, but Beethoven has its own garden, and I am one of the facilitators. Our scholars cultivate the soil, plant the seeds, and harvest the food which is shared with students, families, and staff to educate and promote healthy food choices. I am now able to take the love for learning to another level. The Pilot Light Food Education Program will allow scholars to continue to learn about healthy eating and healthy living. The lessons will help students understand why healthy food choices are so important to our health, lifestyle, and longevity. The marriage of the three programs will expose our scholars to such a rewarding experience in understanding the value of what goes in the body affects what they can produce cognitively, emotionally, physically, and mentally. The power of choice where scholars can be more health-conscious starting at an early age will ultimately position them to be life-long learners of making healthy food choices. I can’t wait to expound on the valuable food education journey with our students, staff, administration, parents, community members, and other stakeholders!