Ortega Elementary sells oranges – not chocolate! – to raise funds




It really bothers me when schools try to raise money by selling sugar loaded treats like candy bars and caramel corn. Aren’t we supposed to be teaching our children to eat healthy?

That’s why I love what’s happening at Ortega Elementary School in Austin.

Students and staff there are selling 20-pound bags of organic oranges grown in South Texas to raise money for field trips and extracurricular activities not covered by federal funding.

The fund-raiser ends Monday, and you can order a bag for $15. The school makes $5 on each sack, and that money helps send kids to museums and other cool places.

The school teamed up with the Sustainable Food Center to organize the fund-raiser. Ortega teacher Alejandra Mireles says the school wanted to do something that reflected the healthy living habits students there are taught. They’re also hoping to show that real food can do more than make us healthy – it can be used to raise money, fund educational trips and help close the educational achievement gap.

Organizers hope other schools will do the same.

The students are excited, too. “Chocolate has too much sugar and we could make more money selling fruit because it’s healthier and better for you,” says student Alex Rodriguez.

To order, call 512-414-4417 or go here. Orders must be placed by 3 p.m. Monday. Pickups are Dec. 2-4 at the school, 1135 Garland Avenue.

Author: Pam LeBlanc

Pam LeBlanc writes about fitness and travel for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the Statesman since 1998 and written her weekly fitness column, Fit City, since 2004.

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