For Immediate Release: June 26, 2014
Contact: Selina Ayala-Patlan, Valerie Martinez (909) 445-1001

A Fusion of White House Initiatives, Event Encourages Healthier & Active Lives for MUSD Families

MONTEBELLO Students of the Culinary Hospitality Educational Fundamentals (CHEF) pathway at Montebello’s Applied Technology Center (ATC) culminated their year-long exploration of cooking, event planning and life-impacting experiences by hosting the Great Outdoors Community Event, a community-wide healthy eating and healthy activity fair at ATC on Saturday, June 21.

As part of the pathway’s English and event management curriculum, CHEF students planned and participated in several events this year that provided students with hands-on, real-world exposure to life in the culinary and event management industry. The event offered students, parents and community members a chance to learn more about local groups, organizations, and community resources that serve to promote a healthy lifestyle to members of the Montebello Unified School District.

“This event not only illustrates the professional and practical skills that our CHEF students are gaining through this pathway, but also highlights the importance of healthier and more active lifestyles for our students and their families,” said MUSD Board of Education President David Vela. “We continue to advocate the efforts of our teachers, students and programs that bring awareness to better health for our community.”

The fair, which incorporated the White House’s Great Outdoors Month and First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative to promote physical activity in youngsters, also sought to bring community awareness to the long-term benefits of healthy lifestyle and food choices.

“Students have read Michael Pollan’s ‘In Defense of Food’ this year, which argues for a healthier eating style, stressing eating real and not processed food, smaller portions and an emphasis on more fruits and vegetables, especially leafy ones,” said ATC teacher Ryan Rice. “In educating students on how making conscious, informed food choices about quantities and types of food we consume impact our own and our families’ health, we hope students can then teach their loved ones how to live healthier, more active lives as well.”

In addition to the informational booths, students also led activities and demonstrations promoting health, including dancing and Zumba. Exhibitors include Heart of Compassion, Flame Broiler, Anthony Antonucci, Herbs of Mexico, American Cancer Society and the CHEF Pathway. Partners also include Flame Broiler, Montebello Parks and Recreation Department, and Chipotle.

“When students are healthy and practicing an active way of life, academic performance improves,” said MUSD Superintendent of Education Susanna Contreras Smith. “This event gives our students and their families direct access to community resources that will improve their well-being today and in the future. We are very proud of our students for bringing the community together in the name of health.”


ATC Great Outdoors: MUSD student cuts and prepares fresh fruits and veggies at the ATC Great Outdoors Event on June 21.

ATC Great Outdoors1: Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) students help a young girl with an outdoor activity called Find the Bone at the ATC Great Outdoors Event on June 21.