NEWARK, Del. — The Produce Marketing Association is sponsoring a specially designed math curriculum that, in part, is intended to get third and fourth graders to think about fruits and vegetables as an important part of their diet.
Designed by Scholastic, the “Crunch the Numbers” program, which meets national standards for third- and fourth-grade math curriculums, is being distributed to teachers across the United States.
Lesson plans include scenarios that use fruits and vegetables in a grocery store setting to illustrate an addition, subtraction or fractions problem and its solution. For example, the retail prices for a variety of vegetables are listed with colorful graphics, and a problem may be presented that asks how much a student would owe the grocer if he bought an apple, a pear and a banana, and how much change he'd receive if he paid with a $10 bill.
In addition to lesson plans and classroom posters, the program offers take-home family handouts that offer suggestions to parents on how to get more fruits and vegetables incorporated into their child's diet.
“For instance, one suggestion to parents is to ask their child to make a list of fruits and vegetables to add to the family's weekly shopping list and then send him into the produce department to pick them up,” said Kathy Means, PMA's vice president, government and public affairs.
“Our goal with this is to take kids at an age when they can still be influenced about their diets, and make them produce consumers for life.”
PMA is providing financial contributions over four years to Produce for Better Health Foundation's (PBH) Campaign for Children's Health to create and distribute the program. In the first year, 10,000 printed InSchool programs will be mailed to third- and fourth-grade teachers, reaching 300,000 students and 450,000 parents. Another 100,000 teachers will receive an email encouraging them to access the curriculum materials at www.scholastic.com/crunchthenumbers.