Last year, it was rain that poured on Planet Party Day.
On Friday, it was sunny skies but with 20 mph winds and some gusts hitting this year’s event made possible by Manteca Unified and Victoria Brunn, Sustainability Coordinator for the Leadership on Green Initiatives Committee.
“It just goes to show that Mother Nature is always in charge,” said MUSD Nutrition Education Supervisor Stephanie Huff, who, along with Director of Nutrition Services Patty Page, co-chaired the event.
Still, Planet Party Day was a roaring success.
“Our students look forward to (Planet Party Day) – it’s a great way for them to learn,” said Neil Hafley Elementary School teacher Sherri Reis-Knight.
Her students were among the over 2,000 sixth graders from throughout the district, with each visiting the interactive exhibits at the MUSD complex. In turn, they fulfilled some of their educational requirements including Common Core standards.
Huff said Health & Wellness was added this year’s Planet Party Day as part of a new board policy.
For MUSD Nutrition Dietitian Jennifer Lew-Vang, she had the opportunity to talk about the dangers of sugar-based drinks and the importance of drinking water.
“The human body is 70 percent water,” she said, urging students to drink at least eight glasses of water per day in her ‘Rethink Your Drink’ presentation.
Lew-Vang brought out baggies of sugar to further display the teaspoon servings in some of their favorite drinks – a can of A&W Root Beer, for example, has 11.25 teaspoon of sugar while a sports drink such as Powerade packs on 13.3 teaspoons.
She noted that too much sugar over a period of time can lead to quality of life issues such as diabetes and heart disease.
Speaking of water, Dagmara Saini, who is the City of Manteca’s Water Resource Coordinator, provided tips to youngsters on doing their part to help out with the conservation efforts.
“Try taking five-minute showers just like you did in science camp,” she said.
Saini also encouraged students to turn the faucet on a low flow when doing the dishes and to avoid using the toilet as a garbage disposal.
Nutrition Services Supervisor Annastacia Yager had tidbits of information on locally grown produce, from cucumbers to corn.
“There are always even numbered rows of (ears) on a corn,” she said.
Planet Party Day also covered Clean Air, Energy / Conservation, STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math), and Green Recycling.
The event had plenty of support from throughout MUSD. Included were those in the ag community, administration, secondary education, custodial, maintenance, Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp, Regional Occupational Program and be.tech charter academy.
“This was a huge district event,” Huff said.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.