Grade Class of Elysian Charter School won first place in a national competition sponsored by the Farm to School Network. Elysian found out about the contest only one week before the due date. The 5th grade quickly shifted into gear creating a concept, making all the props and costumes, and recording and filming the music video. This is not the first time Elysian has gotten national recognition for a student film. Last year, three Elysian Middle School students won an award through the C-Span StudentCam documentary competition for their film on the struggle for peace among Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. This year, Elysian students submitted three films to the StudentCam competition, including documentaries on the Iraq War, The High School Drop-out Crisis, and Green Building. We will hear the results in March. This movie was produced as a part of Elysian’s movie and music making program run by artist-in- residence and media lab coordinator Aram Rubenstein Gillis. With over 3,600 views to date, “Who Put That Burger on Your Plate” got the most views of any submission to the contest (including the college submissions). Teachers, students and parents all worked together to get the word out about the video, using email, facebook, blogs and word of mouth to promote the video. Votes for the video came from countries around the world, including China, Scotland, France and Mexico. Elysian was also one of 33 schools in the State of New Jersey to be designated a participant in the New Jersey Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program awarded through the Child Nutrition Program of the Department of Agriculture. This wonderful program encourages schools to provide fresh fruit and vegetables daily at times other than mealtime. Children are introduced to produce that many of them have never tasted before. The results have been delightful! A large component of this program is for schools to establish connections and relationships with local farms and produce providers. Elysian has had great success with this program and everyone – teachers, kids and parents all love it.


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