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Grade 4 class’ book extols the virtues of healthy eating

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Walk into one of the local libraries and you just might see a new addition to local literature: a little blue book with googly-eyed, colourful crops on a blue cover, their blank stares a sure sign that you have not been eating enough of them.

The fruits of this labour can be traced back to a class of Breslau Public School students that is giving others some “food for thought” after creating a book on nutrition of the same name. On June 20, after months of writing, illustrating and learning about the world of publishing, the group of fourth graders, and teacher Debbie Pavlove, introduced the finished product to their peers. The book has also received some notoriety among nutritionists and libraries in the region, which may carry the book in the future.

Debbie Pavlove’s Breslau PS class hold up Food For Thought, the published book on nutrition they created, from cover to cover, just in time for the end of their fourth-grade school year. [elena maystruk / the observer]
Debbie Pavlove’s Breslau PS class hold up Food For Thought, the published book on nutrition they created, from cover to cover, just in time for the end of their fourth-grade school year. [elena maystruk / the observer]
Students worked on all aspects of the book published by M&T Printing Group, from writing and editing to creating and acquiring rights for all of the images inside.

“The most fun part was getting to work as a class because we got different ideas and we were able to incorporate ideas and just have fun,” said student Laina Stuart.

Students also enjoyed the editing process in which they were able to receive feedback from their peers.

“It gives you more ideas, and your friends can tell you when you made mistakes and you can fix it,” said Kelly Nguyen.

As part of their writing duties, the kids had a chance to tell stories and learn about the entire process of creating a real book, said Pavlove, but most of all the class wanted to pass on a message: “That healthy eating is important and it makes you stronger and it just helps you think,” said student Bailey McNaughton.

“What they did is they just learned the process of writing from beginning to end, and I think they learned the value of sharing ideas and improving their work,” Pavlove said.

This is the first year for such a project after the class received a Green Apple grant.

Food for Thought is filled with nutritional facts, interviews with field experts, as well as fictional stories about healthy eating of every type and genre, all created by the students. So how did a large group of fourth graders manage to coordinate and put together such a complex project?

“There really weren’t that many big obstacles with this book because the kids had such enthusiasm. They were such a great group of kids to be working on it that they made the project easy,” she said.

Though it’s still early to make any promises, Pavlove added, some local libraries and nutritionists have already expressed interest in carrying the book. For now the book will be displayed at the school.

“They had the chance to see their work in print, they were extremely excited. They worked really hard and I’m really proud of the efforts they put in. We hope that other people will share the book and read the book and learn something from it,” said Pavlove.

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