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PMA Members Invited to Make Local Connections with New School Curriculum

NEWARK, Del. -- Produce Marketing Association (PMA) is offering its members a powerful community outreach tool, via a "Crunch the Numbers" elementary school curriculum that advocates fruit and vegetable consumption.

The trade association has also developed an online toolkit with tips for getting the curriculum and its pro-consumption messages in the hands of teachers, students, and families, as well as media and PMA member employees.

The PMA-funded curriculum may have already reached as many as 1.6 million students since it was unveiled to teachers last fall. Ten thousand teachers, reaching an estimated 300,000 students and their families, received printed editions of the curriculum in October 2007. To date, Scholastic's "Crunch the Numbers" Web site for teachers is receiving about 1,700 unique teacher visitors each week.

Ninety-three percent of teachers responding to a Scholastic survey report they have already used, or plan to use, the curriculum. Their praise includes "helped with math as well as nutrition," "it was a fun way for the students to learn math," "it's nice to involve the family in what's happening in the classroom," and "how easy it was to use."

Members can help deliver the curriculum to even more teachers, while also increasing their visibility in their own markets and communities. In addition to providing each member organization with a free set of "Crunch the Numbers" curriculum materials, PMA developed an online outreach toolkit to help members promote the curriculum and its pro-fruit and vegetable messages to a range of community audiences. Those audiences include third- and fourth-grade teachers, students and their families, the media and members' own employees and their families. The toolkit includes tips and aids for reaching each target audience.

"Now more than ever, our industry needs a broad array of tools to reach consumers where they eat, live, work, learn and play to help increase consumption, and to increase industry sales in the process," said PMA v.p. Kathy Means. "This program touches teachers, students and their families, employees and the communities that are trying to address rising childhood obesity, providing them with fun and memorable messages that promote healthy fruit and vegetable habits."

Designed to help third- and fourth-grade students learn more math and eat more fruits and vegetables, "Crunch the Numbers" meets national standards of learning for both math and health. The curriculum's development and four-year distribution program are being funded by a significant financial contribution from PMA to Produce for Better Health Foundation's (PBH) Campaign for Children's Health. "Crunch the Numbers" was designed and is being distributed by Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education and media company.

For more information, PMA members can visit (member password required).
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