ESM’s first Festival of Nations was held March 3, 2010 with assistance from a $1,000 ESMEF grant. The event exceeded expectations as attendees visited booths representing 18 countries and regions and enjoyed cultural food, crafts and authentic entertainment. The goal of the festival was to celebrate the diversity of the ESM District while promoting tolerance, awareness and understanding of other cultures and languages. It was held during National Foreign Language Week. Exhibits representing the nations/regions surrounded an area for live entertainment in the center of the gymnasium at the high school. Parents, students and staff contributed to the development of each exhibit. Doug Morhorter, associate principal, and Darlene Baker, DECA advisor, were the grant project leaders.
The Book Cooks program at Minoa was developed from a cookbook for young children titled "Book Cooks: Literature-based Classroom Cooking" by Janet Bruno. This $1,050 grant will be used to teach students in grades 1-5 at Minoa Elementary that they can eat healthier by learning about and incorporating the love of books with the actual hands on preparation of food. In 2007-2008, ESM initiated a wellness program to promote healthier lifestyles. This grant will expose students to different kinds of healthy food experiences that they may not have otherwise. As young people are struggling with the problem of obesity nationwide, this after-school program will teach students how to make better food choices in a small group setting. The books will be resources to help students come up with new ideas for food choices, which in turn will promote the love of reading. This program is beneficial to Minoa’s students because they are being taught life skills. Field trips are planned to Wegman’s and Joey’s Restaurant and students will showcase what they have learned in May for parents and staff. Tina Nabinger, Minoa’s Library Media Specialist, is the grant project leader.