Everybody loves a good carrot - that's what Fredonia Central School tried to prove when the cafeteria served locally-grown carrots every day during Carrot Week. Carrots were everywhere: on the announcements, in display cases and on puppet show stages, as well as on carrot posters, in carrot contests and in carrot lunches.
To promote National Farm to School Month, Ginny Carlberg, community educator at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County, provided the school with displays, knives, aprons and cookbooks. Cafeteria manager Judy Oakes bought more than 100 pounds of carrots from Hamlet Farms to cook into soup, cake, dip, glaze and even Jell-O. Liz Tycka at Hamlet Farms coordinated the effort to buy locally-grown carrots by contacting local farms and arranging for all the carrots to be brought to Hamlet Farms in Sheridan. Back at the school, the 100 pound pile dwindled as cafeteria employees chopped, sliced and diced carrots all week to aid in the effort.
The middle school program for the week was sponsored by Fredonia Middle School Principal Andrew Ludwig and Assistant Principal Jenniffer Maslakowski. The theme was "Crazy for Carrots."
Fredonia Middle School students, from left, Liz Bumpus, “Carrot Woman,” along with “Carrot Man No. 1” James Pelsey and “Carrot Man No. 2” Otis Gomez.
"We had a great time and the students really were crazy for carrots this week," Ludwig said.
At the high school level, as part of Lisa Reinhardt's video production class, students Alyssa Crespo, Jude Gardner and Christopher Wawro made videos that were included in announcements.
In the midst of Carrot Week, Fredonia Central School also celebrated National Food Day. For the second year in a row, Michael Jabot of SUNY Fredonia helped students create garden-related stations. This year, in keeping with the spirit of Carrot Week, they included a carrot station for the elementary students.
Elementary School Nurse Mary Croxton coordinated the Elementary program for the week. In pre-kindergarten, all of the students ate carrots every day with lunch. According to parent Kristin Tomaszewski, her 4-year-old son ate carrots for the first time because of Carrot Week.
As Michaela from Mrs. Foley's class wrote in a thank you letter, "Thank you for making Carrot Week our new holiday." And it was.