Sagamore Middle School students are looking to make a positive change in the district and beyond with their Seal of Civic Readiness project. The Seal of Civic Readiness is a formal recognition on a student’s diploma displaying that a student recognizes the value of civic engagement, civic responsibility and civic values.
For the middle school capstone component of the program, eighth graders Jason Damiano, Kacey Geluso and Anthony Sacco are looking to implement more choices in school lunches. Specifically, they hope to add bottled water to the school lunch menu in addition to milk, which is already provided.
“The reality is that students either do not drink or throw out their milk. This is wasteful for many reasons,” Damiano said. “This issue is not unique to Sagamore, in fact, it is an issue across the country.”
Through their research, the eighth graders found that while milk has benefits including calcium, protein and vitamin D, it contains saturated fat and sugar. They suggest water is a healthy alternative that should be an option available in school lunch menus.
“The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health suggests the Healthy Eating Plate which includes water as a beverage. Harvard suggests limiting milk, dairy and juice, as well as avoiding sugary drinks,” Geluso said.
As part of the project, the eighth graders presented their research to the Sachem Board of Education and asked for their support. The board of education agreed to sign a letter the students composed to the director of the nutrition program for the New York State Education Department, which is the next step in making a difference.
“By doing this project, we learned that if you feel like there is something wrong in your school or community, you should work to change it,” Sacco said.
Date Added: 2/16/2023