ANC 2013 Calling All Experts! While some of you still have vivid memories of your recent visit to Denver for SNA’s 2012 Annual National Conference (ANC), the Association’s leadership and staff are already busy planning the 2013 “School Nutrition Event of the Year,” scheduled for July 14-17, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo. And each year, a key component of that preparation is the development of educational offerings that showcase nutritional integrity as the core component, resulting in the highest-quality training and education sessions available for this profession. At ANC 2013, educational sessions, research “poster” presentations and pre-conference seminars and workshops once again will focus on a wide variety of school nutrition achievements, initiatives, trends and issues. We invite you to share your expertise and experience by submitting a presentation proposal for consideration in the four key areas of the Association’s Keys to Excellence and Certification programs: ■ Operations ■ Nutrition ■ Administration ■ Communications & Marketing This premier professional conference is your best chance to not only instruct and inform, but also to inspire operators working in the K-12 segment. And there are many additional benefits of presenting at ANC, including pre- and post-event promotion to 55,000 SNA members, onsite access to SNA members and vendors, professional networking opportunities and much more. To submit your presentation for consideration, complete the “Call for Proposals” (CFP) form, available online only at www.schoolnutrition.org/anc2013, beginning July 18, 2012. Note that the deadline is quickly approaching! Proposals must be received on or before September 30, 2012. If you have questions, please contact SNA at (800) 877-8822 for more information. Certification & Credentialing Step It Up! School may be getting ready to open for the students you serve, but keep in mind that the new school year also is the perfect occasion to spend a little time investing in your own education and professional development. In a recent SNA member research survey, 32% of the respondents who were not SNA certified indicated that the reason why is that they are “planning to become certified in the future.” What are you waiting for? The future is here. There’s never been a better time to achieve your SNA certification and take your professional standing to the next level. With new nutrition requirements going into effect, cafeteria meals—and the people who prepare and serve them—will be under greater public scrutiny than ever before. You can do your part to turn a negative stereotype into a positive story by demonstrating that you have met the standards of Level 1, 2 or 3 certification, which affirm your expertise as a professional working in this business. Take it from someone who has made the commitment. Maureen MacLeod is a head cook/foodservice manager in Manchester, Mass. When she achieved her SNA Level 1 certification in 2007, she saw a change: “Becoming certified allowed staff and faculty in the school to look at me as a professional, rather than as a lunch lady,” MacLeod recounts. Check out all of the benefits and opportunities that SNA certification can provide to you at www.schoolnutrition.org/nextlevel. Public Awareness You’ve Got Questions? Like most of your school nutrition peers, you probably receive plenty of questions about school meals and their nutritional value from parents, teachers and other stakeholders in your community. To help you address these inquiries, SNA has launched a new series of videos featuring real-life answers from school nutrition operators around the country. The initial Hot Topic Videos put two bona fide timely issues in the spotlight: beverages in schools (specifically, soda and flavored milk) and organic foods in school meals. In addition to providing you, as a school nutrition professional, with practical advice on these issues, the video content also can be shared directly with the parents or teachers who come to you, asking: “Is soda still served in schools?” “Is chocolate milk healthy?” and “Why can’t you serve organic foods?” SNA anticipates adding additional videos to the series throughout 2012-13, highlighting such topics as working with chefs, getting kids to make healthy choices and understanding key food safety steps. Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/Level2_HotTopicVideos.aspx?id=17093 to view the videos. Promotional Calendar Something to Celebrate Special cafeteria promotions are among the most tried-and-true strategies for building participation. Children are attracted by special events and activities that make the cafeteria fun and full of (pleasant) surprises. As you head back to school now or in the weeks to come, it’s time to mark your calendar for the different promotions and celebrations you plan to conduct. Of course, you already know about National School Lunch and Breakfast Weeks, not to mention such traditional holidays as Halloween and Valentine’s Day. Maybe you have already begun brainstorming ideas to coincide with Dr. Seuss’ Birthday, Cinco de Mayo or the Super Bowl. But what about National Cherry Month, Be Kind to Animals Week or Sandwich Day? If you seek new ideas—and new events to celebrate— turn to SNA’s annual online Promotional Calendar, a free member service produced by the editorial staff of School Nutrition. This year’s calendar can be accessed at www.schoolnutrition.org/promocalendar1213. This is a great resource to find new dates and occasions that lend themselves to engaging cafeteria activities. It includes monthly, weekly and daily celebrations for the 2012-13 school year, as well as suggestions for decorations, costumes and activities, along with fun facts to get you started. In addition, you will find many website links, as available, to sponsoring organizations or other online resources that can provide ideas, materials or background information. If you know of an observance that you think should be included in this annual resource, please let the magazine team know, so it can be researched for the following year’s Promotional Calendar. Send an e-mail with the name of the event, the sponsoring organization and the observance date to snmagazine@ schoolnutrition.org. Please note that the Promotional Calendar is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of all observations, and inclusion in this resource does not imply SNA’s endorsement of any events or observations. While SN monitors sponsoring organizations for updates, please note that dates are subject to change. Public Awareness Ready, Set, Promote! You’re working hard to meet all the new meal pattern requirements for the start of the new school year—and with local media seeking back-to-school news stories, this is the perfect opportunity to show off all the healthy changes that have been made to your school menus. You can turn to SNA’s new online PR resources, which were designed specifically with your busy schedule in mind. It contains everything you need to easily and effectively educate parents, the media and the school community about your school nutrition program. It includes: ■ various public relations tools, including talking points, media tips, prepared presentations and more; ■ tools for outreach to administrators, such as customizable presentations and handouts; ■ backpack brochures and flyers for parents and children (including a new professionally designed “What You Need to Know About School Nutrition” flyer that can be customized with your district’s name or logo); and ■ Social School Lunch: A How to Guide on Social Media. And just added is the New Meal Pattern PR Toolkit, featuring a customizable letter to parents (in English and Spanish), a template press release, talking points and more. These materials, available at www.schoolnutrition.org/PR, are designed to help you to explain the new nutrition standards for school meals and note the ways your program will offer students both healthier and tastier choices. When you make use of the new PR ready-to-go resources, it will be a breeze to engage your audience on a variety of school nutrition topics. Take advantage of these resources to leverage this timely opportunity to promote the value and convenience of your school meals program, while spotlighting other such healthy initiatives and campaigns as nutrition education programs, use of locally grown foods, new menu items, chef partnerships, student tastings and so on. To begin improving awareness about the achievements and innovations of your school nutrition program, and spread the message that school meals are healthy, delicious and a great value, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/PR. Member Services The Super Simplicity of SDM Since 2007, SNA has offered a School District Owned Membership (SDM) option, and more districts are signing on every year to capitalize on the many benefits of this program. To date, this option is available in 45 states, and more than 11,000 school districts are participating. How about yours? An SDM is a membership that is owned by a school district in the name of an individual and is transferable to another employee in the same membership category if the original assignee leaves the district. SDMs receive all the same benefits as an individual member at the same price as individual membership dues. But the SDM option makes it easier for school districts to pay for memberships, reducing paperwork, facilitating transfer and allowing employees to enjoy the great benefits of belonging to SNA. SNA has produced a short video featuring testimonials from several participating directors, who describe the ease and simplicity of the SDM program and tout the virtues of having their entire school nutrition team be a part of something larger and feel the pride and camaraderie of membership in a professional organization. The video is available at www.schoolnutrition.org/Content.aspx?id=9784, where you also will find more details about how to sign up—and earn free memberships when you do so! E-Newsletters Headline News Staying sharp as a school nutrition professional today means staying on top of what’s happening in districts around the country, as well as national news. Can’t find the time to browse the Internet for related articles? You don’t want to fall behind. Fortunately, there is a simple solution: Sign up to receive SNA SmartBrief and receive a summary of the news that really matters—delivered straight to your inbox each weekday. This e-newsletter is an essential tool that will help you stay on top of the latest issues and trends affecting this market segment. Since its launch in late January, SNA SmartBrief already boasts more than 13,000 subscribers who depend on the daily brief to save time and keep current. To help deliver this resource to its members and the school nutrition community, SNA has partnered with SmartBrief, Inc., an online media publishing company that gives readers in more than 25 industries a competitive edge by providing them with targeted news and information. Knowledgeable SmartBrief editors filter through thousands of news sources daily, handpicking and summarizing key articles and providing direct links to the original sources. In other words, SmartBrief does all the research, and you get the latest news in your inbox, absolutely free. To subscribe to SNA SmartBrief, visit www. smartbrief.com/sna and complete the short form to be added to the mailing list. While you’re at it, go ahead and share an issue of SNA SmartBrief with your school nutrition peers to spread the word and help them be in the know! And in addition to SNA SmartBrief, the Association continues to offer its biweekly CN Direct e-newsletter, which highlights key stories, events and announcements specifically from the SNA website. To subscribe to CN Direct, complete the form at http://docs.schoolnutrition.org/cndirect/signup.asp. New Meal Patterns Help Is Here A new school year always presents challenges, and this year will be no exception. With implementation required for the first significant changes in nutrition standards for school meals in more than a decade, school nutrition operations face some bumpy transitions. But SNA is here to help. We Can Do This: Advice and Resources for Meeting the New Meal Pattern is a companion guide made available exclusively to SNA members. Used as the foundation for six hot topic education sessions during last month’s Annual National Conference in Denver, We Can Do This is available at www.schoolnutrition.org/mealpattern. Offering sample menus, links, official guidance, practical advice and other valuable tools, this compendium is designed to help school districts of all sizes interpret and implement the new meal pattern requirements. SNA established an Ad Hoc Meal Pattern Working Group, consisting of school nutrition operators, state agency officials and representatives from industry and USDA, which was charged with collecting comments, concerns and frustrations from all segments of SNA’s membership and responding to these through the development of the We Can Do This guide. SNA will continue to develop resources to help school nutrition operators meet the new requirements. Membership Stay Connected! Do we have your correct e-mail address? SNA is currently looking to improve our ability to communicate with members on timely school nutrition-related news, trends, legislative updates, upcoming meetings and other essential resources. To do so, we need your help in making sure we have your correct e-mail address in our records. To ensure you’re connected with SNA, simply submit or verify your current e-mail address using the MySNA link at SchoolNutrition.org. School Nutrition Magazine Your Wisdom Wanted! Each month, volunteer members of School Nutrition magazine’s Kitchen Wisdom Panel graciously offer their K-12 operational expertise and advice for the practical preparation and application of selected recipes to be featured in the pages of SNA’s flagship publication (see page 72). Do you have “kitchen wisdom” when it comes to preparing tasty school recipes for students? Do you enjoy exploring new recipes? School Nutrition is recruiting even more volunteers to join this important group, assisting us with reviewing, modifying and/or testing recipes. We’ll work around your schedule and comfort level for a productive partnership that helps us offer creative solutions to school chefs all across the country. “Testing these recipes also helps me to grow as a professional, so SNA is not the only one benefitting from my involvement,” reports panelist Michael McEvoy, school nutrition program manager, Peachtree Ridge High School, Gwinnett County, Ga. If you are an SNA member and work in a school district foodservice operation, contact Cecily Walters, email@example.com or (800) 877-8822, ext. 142, for more details about how you can offer your own wisdom as a regular panelist. SNA Meetings & Events OCTOBER 15-19, 2012 National School Lunch Week JANUARY 13-15, 2013 Child Nutrition Industry Conference San Antonio, Texas MARCH 3-6, 2013 Legislative Action Conference Washington, D.C. MARCH 4-8, 2013 National School Breakfast Week APRIL 1-30, 2013 Global Child Nutrition Month APRIL 18-20, 2013 National Leadership Conference Savannah, Ga. MAY 6-10, 2013 School Nutrition Employee Week JULY 14-17, 2013 Annual National Conference Kansas City, Mo.
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