Whole Kids Foundation™ Awards Chicago’s Oriental Institute $25,000 Grant to Help with Nutrition Education to Children
Institute helps connect kids to food using archaeological discovery
Chicago (June 22, 2016) – Today, Whole Kids Foundation announced the award of a $25,000 healthy eating education grant to The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago as part of its Healthy Kids Innovation Program in partnership with United Health Foundation. This grant will be used to partially fund a program the Institute is designing for teachers that uses archaeological exploration of food, health and nutrition in ancient civilizations to help students understand human diets and the importance of food diversity for human health.
“The idea of connecting kids to food through their ancestry using archaeological discovery is truly unique – and a new approach for incorporating healthy eating into unexpected areas of the Common Core,” says Nona Evans, Executive Director, Whole Kids Foundation. “This project has the potential to provide resources and strong learning outcomes for students in Chicagoland schools and possibly across the nation.”
“We are honored and thrilled to partner with a wellness-minded organization like Whole Kids Foundation. Not only will this new partnership provide teacher training and help their students make connections between archaeology, world history, and nutrition, but also we will make positive and practical changes together concerning children’s health,” says Carol Ng-He, School and Community Program Manager, the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. “We are grateful to Whole Kids Foundation for their support, and we look forward to seeing the results of the program.”
The Oriental Institute is dedicated to providing learning opportunities about the cultures of the ancient Near East to children. This new program will help teachers connect children with the lives of ancient peoples and help them make healthy, educated decisions about their food. During a five-day training, 30 fifth to eighth grade teachers from around Chicagoland will train to use a curriculum to teach nutrition and gardening through the lens of ancient archeology.
Whole Kids Foundation’s Healthy Kids Innovation Grant Program in partnership with United Health Foundation launched in October 2015 with the goal of supporting innovate projects nationwide that will improve children’s health and nutrition, and engage kids in making good food choices. Open to educators, individuals and nonprofit organizations seeking to break down barriers to basic, but critical information and resources, such as where food comes from and the importance of eating health foods, the grant program selected 9 organizations to award a total of $200,000 in funds
For more information about additional Whole Kids Foundation programs, visit wholekidsfoundation.org.
About Whole Kids Foundation™
Whole Kids Foundation, a Whole Foods Market foundation, is based in Austin, Texas, and operates as an independent, nonprofit organization. By empowering schools and inspiring families, the Foundation aims to help children reach optimal health through the strength of a healthy body fueled by nutritious food. For more information on the Foundation’s programs including school gardens, salad bars and nutrition education for teachers, visit wholekidsfoundation.org.
Educators Exploring the Advent of Agriculture in Mesopotamia at the Oriental Institute
By Carol Ng-He, Master Teacher of Project Archaeology and School & Community Program Manager at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago
How does eating a variety of plant foods contribute to a healthy diet?
How can we use archaeological knowledge to design a healthy diet today?
On August 3rd through August 7th, 2015, twenty-three educators from the Chicago metropolitan area, Kansas, Florida, Michigan, California, Tennessee, Utah, and North Dakota engaged in the essential questions above using Project Archaeology’s new curriculum guidebook Investigating Nutrition: The Advent of Agriculture in Mesopotamia as they participated in the first Leadership Legacy Institute at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, co-organized by the Project Archaeology and the Oriental Institute. The Institute certified teachers to be facilitators for future teacher workshops using Project Archaeology’s curriculum and pedagogical model.
The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago became one of the state chapters of Project Archaeology in Illinois in 2013. In 2014, the OI partnered with Project Archaeology’s headquarters to finish the publication Investigating Nutrition. As a leading research center and academic museum for the study of ancient Near Eastern civilizations, including Mesopotamia, Egypt, Nubia, Persia, Syria, Anatolia and beyond, this partnership shed light on the richness of the Oriental Institute scholarship and Project Archaeology’s interdisciplinary approach to educator training.