Three Cheers for South Florida! See how our Flagship Program has impacted 4th Grader, Christie Carlo

While we offer a variety of programming, our most well-known one is our 3-year Flagship model. The Flagship model operates within school kitchens, supporting the implementation of scratch-cooked menus, preparation of healthy school lunch, and expansion of salad bars. The WITS Chefs work alongside school food staff, and also hold WITS Labs and WITS Tastings throughout the school year. We gradually scale back our presence as school cooks learn how to prepare the recipes on their own.

Christie Carlo has gone through our 3 year Flagship Program at Watkins Elementary in Florida. See below for an interview!

Interview with Christie Carlo

from 2016-2019

Grade– 4th Grade

What does WITS mean to you?

  • “Sometime I don’t like trying new things. But WITS, through Cooking Classes and tastings, has made me feel comfortable trying new things!”

What have you learned from year one of WITS to now, year three?

  • “Before buying something, always read the labels…oh ya and check how much sugar is there! Now I do that when I go to Walmart with my mom. I used to buy Lay’s Potato Chips but one day Chef Leonor showed that they were not very healthy so I asked my mom to buy me veggie chips instead.”

What was your favorite WITS Lab Recipe?

  • “Honey Mustard Dressing and Yogurt Dip with Fruit!”

What is one thing you learned from WITS Labs?

  • “First, always wash your hands because you do not want to spread germs. Then when using your knife, use it properly so that you do not cut yourself. Also, if you have a big knife you can scoop up your chopped food with the blade.”

What is your favorite item on the School Lunch Line?

  • “Kale Pizza! I used to help finish my friends slices if they didn’t finish it!”

Do you cook at home?

  • “I can’t cook alone so I help my mom. I helped her make the WITS veggie chili once, it came out so good.”

What do you want to be when you grow up?

  • “I want to have my own business to design buildings- I think that’s called an architect?”

Has WITS helped you in your core classes?

  • Ya! It’s helped me with conversions like cups and Tablespoons which has helped me in Math.”

Anything else?

  • “Chef Leonor is funny. She likes to flex her muscles and tell us protein is good for us. Chef Leonor also helps us know how the color of foods foods help our body…for example, “red” is good for our heart, “blue” is good for memory and “orange” is good for vitamin c!!”


“WITS is good but it should be everywhere. It would be sad if every kid didn’t get the opportunity that Chef Leonor gives us.”