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Edible Schoolyard documentary explores America’s childhood obesity epidemic
– An award-winning documentary about the edible schoolyard concept will make its debut in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, December 1, 2010.
During a four-day visit aimed at teaching local children how to eat more nutritious meals by growing their own vegetables, Sacramento filmmaker Robert Lee Grant will bring to Pittsburgh his mission of educating children on the importance of proper nutrition and how we can take part in changing the direction of America’s obesity epidemic.
Grant’s documentary, Nourishing the Kids of Katrina, tells the story of how renowned chef and educator Alice Waters created the “Edible Schoolyard” program and how she brought the concept to a ravaged grammar school in New Orleans, where it improved the emotional and nutritional health of students affected by Hurricane Katrina.
In Pittsburgh, the concept of edible gardening is an active part of the curriculum in four local schools. Grow Pittsburgh, a nonprofit partner organization to Pittsburgh Public Schools, teaches students in the classroom and in the garden how to plant and care for seedlings during the spring and harvest the vegetables in the fall. 
 “We hope by teaching children how to grow and eat their own food that they will adopt healthy eating habits for a lifetime of good health,” said Dr. Rhonda Johnson, medical director of health equity and quality for Highmark Inc.
Highmark Healthy High 5, an initiative of the Highmark Foundation, is proud to sponsor several community screenings of Nourishing the Kids of Katrina. There are three community showings planned, with the first taking place at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010 at 6 p.m. On Friday, Dec. 3, a private screening will take place at Montessori Elementary school, located in the Friendship section of Pittsburgh. Its students will have a chance to see how other students have implemented edible school gardens, participate in a homemade butter-making demonstration and meet the film’s director. A final public screening will take place at the Charles A. Stewart Performing Arts Center in Pitcairn, Pa. on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 1 p.m.
About Highmark Healthy High 5
Focused on children’s health promotion, Highmark Healthy High 5 is an initiative of the Highmark Foundation designed to improve the health of children and adolescents ages 6-18 by providing them with the tools and practices needed to make informed decisions about living healthier lives. Through a $100 million commitment, Highmark Healthy High 5 addresses five critical issues – nutrition, physical activity, grieving, self-esteem, and bullying prevention – by working with educators, parents and non-profit leaders to reach children and adolescents at school, at home and within their communities. More information can be found at www.highmarkhealthyhigh5.org or by calling 800-789-1726.
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