CHICAGO – “Three gardens growing.”

“Two chickens clucking.”

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“And a big piece of tofu for me.”

Those are some of the lines from a third grade class’s rewrite of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” according to a blog the USDA.

The agency, which oversees school lunches and is implementing changes championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, is highlighting the efforts of Academy for Global Citizenship in Chicago.

Along with the USDA, Katherine Elmer-Dewitt from the school writes:

As we approach the five-year anniversary of the passage of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act, it’s worthwhile to revisit some of the schools that were at the cutting edge of creating healthier school meals. Chicago’s Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) has been a pioneer in serving healthy, delicious school meals that exceed USDA school meals standards. Just as important, students love them! Integral to AGC’s success is a belief in not only serving positive foods but also in creating a culture that supports wellness. …

AGC was founded by a group of idealistic young leaders with a vision for a fresh approach to public education, one that acknowledged the needs of the whole student, starting with great food. Food has always been a building block of culture, and our school culture was built around mindful eating. We developed a food program that exemplified the highest standards in school food in partnership with the USDA’s National School Lunch Program. …

Following the mission established at our founding, our students are taking action to positively impact their communities and the world beyond, launching recycling campaigns in their homes and communities, composing anti-violence slam poetry, and developing healthy recipes to share with their families. Our students embrace tofu, whole grain pizza and Meatless Mondays as an aspect of their healthy and caring community. At our winter talent show, a 3rd grade group performed an interpretation of “The 12 Days of Christmas,” that celebrated all things AGC, including “three gardens growing, two chickens clucking, and a big piece of tofu for me.” Exceeding expectations, good food has become the center of a community identity that has developed around and among our students and families.

 See the students’ performance here, courtesy of a video posted by the school:

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The blog is “part of our Cafeteria Stories series, highlighting the efforts of hard working school nutrition professionals who are dedicated to making the healthy choice the easy choice at schools across the country,” according to the USDA.