Academic journal article Human Ecology

All the Right Ingredients: Bob Groff Leads NYC's First Public School Vegetarian Cafeteria

Academic journal article Human Ecology

All the Right Ingredients: Bob Groff Leads NYC's First Public School Vegetarian Cafeteria

Article excerpt

The Active Learning Elementary School (TALES) in Queens once served standard cafeteria fare: fried chicken, pizza, and sloppy joes. But last year, principal Bob Groff, MPA '02, added an all-vegetarian menu, making TALES the first public school in New York City, and perhaps the nation, to go entirely meatless.

TALES uses health and nutrition as pillars of its curriculum, and Groff has seen a correlation between healthy lifestyles and student achievement, with an attendance rate far above the city average and test scores in the top 1 percent of New York state public schools. Best of all, students have embraced the fresh eats. "The children aren't complaining," says Groff. "In fact, they're asking their parents to cook this food at home."

After graduating from CIPA in 2002, you joined Teach for America. What motivated you to pursue a career in education?

Groff: During my second year at CIPA, I discovered that I really enjoyed teaching. It changed what I wanted to do for my career. Although my MPA degree didn't directly focus on education, what I learned at CIPA helped shape my beliefs and increased my interest in serving the public good. …

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