Joe's Proposal on Nutrition in Schools.

PRE-PROPOSAL 1. Media Artifact

Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:

My Podcast: Focusing on Proper Nutrition in Schools.  2. Persona and POV statement Persona:  Persona name: Josh Gervis Age: 12 School/occupation: Middle School Student Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan   Quote: "I love playing video games and eating whatever comes to mind".    About:
  • Plays video games as soon as he's done with his homework until it's time for bed
  • His parents are both out of shape and possess limited knowledge about exercise and nutrition
  • Does not participate in any recreational sports leagues and plays cards during recess time 
Goals:
  • To get good grades in school 
  • Play as much Fortnite and get as good as he can
  • Live a comfortable life and stay inside of his comfort zone 

 

POV Statement:
  • User Josh, a high achieveing middle school student who lacks physical activity...
  • Need ...needs to find a way to lead a healthier lifestyle...
  • Insight ...because he lacks the resources and knowledge of what it means to be healthy, through no fault of his own. Public schools need to take ownership on this issue and help their students lead a healthier lifestyle. 
 

 

3. Potential Solutions:

Describe three reasonable, feasible potential solutions or approaches that would help address this problem.

SOLUTION 1: The first solution is to change the food we serve our kids in schools. The lunches that we are serving these kids serverly lack nutritional value. We can help our kids lead a healthier lifestyle by serving the right food.

SOLUTION 2: The second solution to this is mandating physical activity of any kind by setting a quota for an amount of minutes per week kids need to be partaking in. It is reasonable for kids to participate in some sort of aerobic activity that will elevate their heart rate and cause them to burn a significant amount of calories. 

SOLUTION 3: The last solution is educating the childing and/or the parents on the issue. Parents are the ones that are telling their kids what to do and serving them the food in schools, but kids are also responsible for that they put in their bodies. We can educate parents on basic nutritional facts to help them make healthier deicisions. Additionally, we can educate the kids on similar information, which will set a foudnation for which they can build on and live a healthier life. 

 

BACKGROUND AND RESEARCH PROCESS Context

Reference to a current Michigan bill or law that relates in some way to your proposal:

Michigan schools are currently obligated to follow the National School lunch program, which can be found here: https://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-66254_50144-194515--,00.html 

Why this proposal will make a difference in the lives of students of all ages across Michigan, or a significant subgroup (by age, background, economic status, and/or region, etc.) of students in Michigan:

This proposal will enhance the wellbeing and quality of life for all students in Michigan that are provided lunch by the government through school lunch programs. Most of these children will be middle to lower class and attending public schools or nonprofit private schools who receive funding to subsidize student nutrition needs. 

How and where did you learn about the issues underlying your proposal?

I learned about my issue through Michael Moore's film, Where to Invade Next. He highlights how bad school lunches are in the United States. I was very fortunate to have never experienced this because my mother made me lunch every day before I went to school. Also, my school had very nutritious lunches, as I attended a private school. I did more research on the issue and found out how bad the food the government is providing for our kids in schools. 

How has your service activity influenced your thinking about this proposal?

My service activity has really impacted my perspective on the issue because I volunteer at a children's hospital and a lot of issues that I have seen related to cardiachealth could be prevented with a healthy diet. Some issues are unfortunately unavoidable, but most of the children that were in in the hospital for cardiac issues were unfortunately overweight. It has made me realize that so many health issues are preventable through proper exercise and nutrition. 

Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:

My Podcast: Focusing on Proper Nutrition in Schools.  Consultations

Talk directly with at least 3 real live people who have special knowledge about this topic or the impact your proposal would have, and summarize their comments. These may include people appearing in your media artifact (video, podcast, etc.).

CONSULTATION 1: Joe Welton, Physical Educator at Pleasant Ridge Elementary

Mr. Welton is in charge of physical education at Pleasant Ridge Elementary. He and I had a great discussion on what role he plays in the health of his students. He has no say in what the kids are being fed through the school lunch program. His job is to simply have them exercise and get their heart rates up for an extended period of time to improve their cardiovascular health. Mr. Welton has received awards from the state of Michigan in recognition of him being an excellent physical educater. He said that he tries to come up with the most creative ways to have these kids exercise. The average P.E. teacher would have kids run miles and make them do mundane exercises, but that is what separates Mr. Welton from the rest of the pack. He has a limited amount of time with the kids per week and he maximizes it by coming up with creative ways to exercise, so that his student look forward to gym class, as opposed to students dreading having to run the same mile in under a certain amount of time over and over again. 

CONSULTATION 2: Healthy Schools Campaign

Healthy Schools campaign is a very important advocate for students in schools. I called their office and was lucky to receive some valuable advice from a person that serves for them, Mr. Brooder. Their mission is to advocate for a healthier lunches in schools, just as I am trying to do. They have had success in doing this in Chicago, which is exactly what I was looking for; an example of how someone has done this in another school district. They did this by lobbying in the state government for more money to set aside to fund for the lunches they were going to provide. Granted, Michigan has more students than they do, as we have about 1.5 million and they have about 300,000. This is expected as they are one school district in a city and this plan would encompass the entire city. 

CONSULTATION 3: Caroline Mendel, University of Michigan Performance Nutritionist

Caroline Mendel is the performance nutritionist at the University of Michigan for all of the athletes. I reached out for a consultation on what would foods would be most beneficial for the program I am trying to create. We discussed the foods that would boost cognitive function that were also nutrient rich. An obstacle to some of these foods are they might be costly and pose as a burden to a school's budget. A lot of these foods are perishable, which is where the healthies foods are going to be. It is easy to see why schools opt to serve frozen foods and others unhealthy options that have preservatives to prolong their shelf life. The healthiest foods are going to be simple carbs that are found in fruit and vegetables and proteins that are found in pasture raised chicken and fish. The best lunch for a school aged child would be one portion of healthy protein and two portions of healthy carbs. These will help stimulate their cognitive function and help the children focus in the classroom and maximize their education. 

 

 

Reaction or advice from a Topic Coordinator:

You must solicit a critique from a topic coordinator, and explain the impact that advice has had on the final draft of this proposal.

Max Youtie commented that: 

I think your off to a great start on your overall proposal of improving the health of children specifically through school lunches. You did a great job by beginning your media artifact by relating your proposal to the larger issue at hand of health and nutrition. You stated how the issue was important to you and it showed throughout your whole artifact. My proposal last semester was related to child nutrition, so if you have any specific questions I can help lead you to sources that I used and even people that helped me along the way. 

I like the idea of changing school lunches in America to improve student’s overall health. I think that you might be limiting yourself by being this specific so early on in the process though. You talked about subsequent steps of changing school’s nutrition education and even implementing meditation hours. If you consider and do more in depth research on all of these other options, you might be surprised about how your opinions change on what could be the most effective solution. 

In terms of the information you used, I really loved the France school lunch example. I think the best thing you could do is to research France's specific legislation and law codes. This could serve as your basis in writing your own proposal because it is already implemented in another country. Also, I would first focus your attention on implementation on the state of Michigan specifically, rather than the whole U.S. Some states really differ on their school lunch and overall health education programs. Overall, your off to a great start and I am really looking forward to learning more about your proposal.

The feedback that I received was very positive and encouraged me to keep doing the work I was up to. It pushed me to ask more questions and dig below the surface. It made me want to expand my research and try to find the best possible solution that I could come up with that would be the most beneficial to the students I am trying to impact. 

Research process:

Describe your research process — indicate who you talked to (including but not limited to consultants), what you read, what your thinking was, how it changed over time, and how your consultants changed your thinking. This description of your research process definitely could include “dead ends,” or ideas you had that didn’t ultimately bear fruit.  In short, we want to know what you did and how it led to your legislation, and we also want you to give us a window into your thought process.

I did as much research on nutrition in schools as I possible could to educate myself on the matter. I learned what other states have done in their schools lunch programs and what the federal government has tried to do in effort to provide healthy lunches to our children. I reached out to the Michigan performance dietician in order to learn what she has done in a similar fashion for Michigan athletics--how she has come up with a plan and implemented it into fruition. I also looked up as much information as I could about advocates for school nutrition and what people have been doing to do to try to better the nutrition in school lunches.  

Author contributions:

Please delineate--in detail--who made what contributions to the process and to the finished proposal? Who took on which responsibilities in researching ideas, drafting language, etc.?

I did all the work for this proposal as I am not working with a partner. 

FORMAL PROPOSAL

The sections below should comprise your final proposal language, submitted for consideration by your peers and potential inclusion in the MSC Platform.

Preambulatory clauses

These set up the PROBLEM, but not the solution.

WHEREAS....Recognizing that Michigan has the highest 12th highest obesity rate in the country for children ages 0 to 17, at 32.6%.

WHEREAS.... Bearing in mind that these children grow up to become the 32.9% of Michigan adults that are obese, which is the 19th most in the country. 

WHEREAS....Having considered that this issue is rooted in the nutritional habits that the school condones by serving malnutritious food to students across the state every single day at lunch time. 

(Add more "Whereas" clauses if necessary.)

Operative clauses

These describe in detail, the solution you are proposing (not the problem itself; those should go in the "Whereas" clauses above).

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED....

1. Urging that the state of Michigan change the food that it is serving its children during lunchtime, so that students may get more nutritients from their food, encouraging a healthier lifestyle and stimulating more energy to learn in the classroom.

2. Calls upon the state to mandate more physical activity, which will encourage the students to be active and burn calories, improving cardiovascular healthy and pumping endorphins into the blood of these students.

3. Proclaims that the state should educate children and parents on nutrition. Parents are most responsible for what their children eat and they are the ones making them food before and after school. Schools are only responsible for a small share of nutrition intake by students. 

(Add more "Resolved" clauses if necessary.)

Counter-arguments:

What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?

1. Students do not like the taste of healthy food and will end up wasting it if they are fed it at school.

2. Parents do not have the time to be educated on nutrition and will stick to their old habits, even if given the proper information.

3. Time at school is limited and we cannot increse P.E. time, as the school's job is to educate and not serve the purpose of a fitness club. 

Costs and funding:

What will your proposal cost (in direct expenses, lost tax revenue, lost economic opportunity, and/or non-monetary costs)? How will you pay for your proposed legislation? Where will/could the funding for your proposal come from?  Who might object to dedicating resources to your proposal (competing interests)?  

The plan that I am submitting is relatively expensive. The tax payers would have to subsidize the action. In order to lower the cost of this measure, student who are financially stable would have to pay their own lunch and students that cannot would have their lunches paid for. To provide one meal five days a week for the 180 days of instruction, it would cost $12 million per year, assuming that the government would be paying for every student. If half of the students could pay for their lunches then it would obviously cut the cost in half. Additionally, the plan would require nutrition experts to consult the chefs on the menu as to what food will be served for the month. There are 891 school districts in Michigan and the plan would require that the nutritionists meet with the chefs in person to make sure they are implementing the food they want and to make sure that they have to means to make all of the food. This would mean that each nutritionist would take of ten school districts to divide and conquer this big task. If we were paying each nutritionist $50,000 per year, then we would have to add $4.5 million to the plan. So this would bring the total cost of the plan to $16.5 million, which seems costly, but it is a necessary step in decreasing the obesity rate in Michigan students. The current state budget for the state of Michigan is about $18 billion, and this plan would be a TINY increase in the state's budget and I am confident that the state could EASILY find the money to help students live a healthier lift. 

References:

These can include websites or other information you have found about the issue.

https://stateofobesity.org/states/mi/

https://www.nihcm.org/categories/preventing-childhood-obesity-in-michigan-s-classrooms

https://ballotpedia.org/Public_education_in_Michigan

https://www.infoplease.com/us/comprehensive-census-data-state/economic-statistics-497

https://ballotpedia.org/Michigan_state_budget_and_finances

http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/95/05/9505.pdf

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Total votes: 18

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