Karen Green receives national honor

Karen Green

Thomas County School Nutrition Director Karen Green was recently honored with the Silver Special Achievement Award by the National Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Award program.
The award was presented to Green during the FAME award ceremony held Jan. 16, 2011 at the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle during the School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) Child Nutrition Industry Conference.
 Green, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Miller of Cairo, championed the development of a universal breakfast program (also known as Provision II) in all six of the schools that she oversees.  During the first month of the program’s implementation, student breakfast participation doubled versus the previous year.
To generate excitement among the students for this new program, Green produced a television commercial for the school’s Channel One program and cross-marketed the program through the school’s transportation system.  As students rode buses to school, bus magnets advertised the importance of eating school breakfast.
Since the program was implemented, discipline referrals have significantly decreased and administrators have said they are pleased with the results.
Students in Thomas County Schools eat in actual dining rooms.  Improvements have been made so that children have their meals in an atmosphere that is calming, entertaining and educational.  Because of her financial acumen in balancing the child nutrition budget, there have been budgets available for redecorating and renovation.  
A pre-Kindergarten program was started in the district and was set up inside a building with a kitchen that was not usable for foodservice.
Green, the wife of former Thomas County Schools Superintendent Larry Green, also Cairo native, used her planning skills to develop a satellite feeding program that was housed out of the local middle school to prepare and shuttle food to the pre-K program.  This same system has since been used to provide meals at the charter school as well.  This pre-K and Kindergarten school now has a new building, Hand-in-Hand Primary, and houses the “Buzz Appetit”  learning-style kitchen lab in the cafeteria.
Green has initiated a system-wide going green campaign within the school system.  All cafeterias are required to recycle cardboard boxes and aluminum cans.  This has been done by working closely with the waste management company in the local community.
The Silver Special Achievement Award is given to a foodservice director who demonstrates an exceptional ability to recognize and solve problems unique to small school districts.   

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