Broward County, FL — WITS super Chef Leonor Azpurua says, “never underestimate the power of kindness.” She recalls a story with a teacher she met and helped almost five years ago. This teacher was an 8th-grade administrator at McNicol School, who saw one of her classroom demos and got particularly interested in focusing on reducing the amount of sugar in her meals and drinks. Hearing this, Leonor brought her recipes, healthy snacks, and articles about the benefits of cutting sugar in her diet and how she can reset her system and start afresh. Fast forward a few years, this teacher was now the new school Principal. Needless to say, when she saw Leonor back in school for an open house, she thanked her for her commitment to the school and assured her that she would support all her upcoming initiatives! That is just one of the many instances where the WITS Chefs have touched lives on a personal level; they are back to school with excitement that is through the roof.
Another WITS Chef, Sara Martinez, wrote in her weekly note to the WITS Team that, “This was my first week back and it did not disappoint. The kids were excited and eager to get back to talking about food. The little ones in Kindergarten were a little shy but got quickly into the spirit.”
It’s been wonderful to be welcomed back for on-site programming. Most of our schools have requested it and are open to in-person events with all the necessary safety precautions.
Broward County is heading into exciting programming updates this year. We are partnering with a new Food Forest initiative and are introducing participating schools to our new Green for Kids initiative, along with a fundraising push for Give Miami Day in Miami-Dade County. Our focus in South Florida is on our in-class educational programming — WITS Labs, WITS Bits, and now Green for Kids — and we’re also looking for more ways to get creative and support school events.
After the virtual year of collaboration, adapting to the new normal, and welcoming new WITS Chefs on board, the Sunshine State is once again starting the year off strong! This school year began with the staff joining forces to establish lesson plans and determine the best activities for our weekly classes. Across Florida, as with all of WITS’ main markets, we have started out wellness classes discussing our mission and what it means to be healthy. We are always thoroughly surprised and happy to hear what the students have to say about their understanding of health and wellness.