What a challenge we have ahead of us! I’m talking, of course, about meeting the new federal meal pattern requirements, which need to be put in place at the start of the upcoming school year. As we work to educate ourselves and our fellow school nutrition colleagues, I hope that everyone will remember that change brings us a new beginning! This is our chance to show what positive changes are ahead. When it comes to sharing such positive changes with students, I know from my own experience that connecting with middle-schoolers on the topic of nutrition can be its own challenge. Sometimes, though, it is the simple things that attract teenagers’ attention. For example, recently we have displayed many new posters fruits and vegetables that illustrate concepts such as portion control and the new My Plate guidance. It is fun to watch students as they look at the posters and say things like, “I tried a papaya, and it was very sweet” and “Our family only buys whole-grain bread.” As you start thinking about the next school year, I encourage you to invite parents to come and have lunch with their children. It is always rewarding to hear visitors remark on how different school lunch is since they were in school. We have come a long way! In the meantime, if you haven’t yet registered for the Annual National Conference (ANC) in Denver, July 15-18, remember that attending this can’t-miss event is a great way to network with peers. Finding new food items in the Exhibit Hall to serve on your menu is exciting, and attending workshops truly is a wonderful educational opportunity. Not only that, but the planned general session speakers sound great! In particular, I urge you not to miss Ali Vincent! She spoke at our state conference, and as the first female winner of “The Biggest Loser,” she has an inspiring story to share with us. With my position as School Nutrition Employee/Manager Representative on the SNA Board of Directors coming to an end, I want to applaud all of you who give so much time to your profession. Thank you for giving me the wonderful opportunity to represent you these last two years, traveling across the country to attend conferences, taskforce sessions and Board meetings and making many new friends all along the way. Thank you, also, to the SNA staff for their amazing dedication in helping the rest of us be so successful. It has been a very busy two years! I feel honored that I have played a part in making a difference in child nutrition. Annual National Conference Denver, Colo., July 15-18, 2012 Expand your professional horizons at SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC) by tapping into the knowledge and resources of your peers in school nutrition. Over the course of four days, you will be treated to 90+ education sessions, 700+ exhibit booths, three general sessions and numerous events designed to advance your career to new heights. Other ANC 2012 highlights include a new national and state awards ceremony, the return of the School Nutrition Foundation’s Puttin’ on the Glitz performances and a final event featuring the one-and-only Beach Boys! You won’t want to miss a single minute. If you haven’t registered yet for ANC, what are you waiting for? Visit www. schoolnutrition.org/anc today! SNA Certification Sharpen Your Skills Whether you are considering becoming certified or are interested in taking your current certification to the next level, it’s valuable to know that SNA certification adds credibility to your position and to your school nutrition operation. It showcases your professional expertise, provides a career ladder for advancement and demonstrates your commitment to this profession. In some school districts, certification even may gain you a pay raise! To learn more, visit www.school nutrition.org/nextlevel. Plan Powerful Promotions SN’s Online Promotional Calendar Looking for promotion ideas for holidays throughout the year? Check out School Nutrition’s annual online Promotional Calendar. This comprehensive free resource for members includes fun facts, notes about the origins of special observances and ideas for decorations, activities and costumes. The Promotional Calendar is available at www. schoolnutrition.org/promocalendar1213. Type in your username and password when prompted.
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