The 1st World School Milk Day was celebrated in September, 2000 and since it has become an annual event celebrated in many countries throughout the world and promoted actively by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
Also this year, a number of countries joined in the celebrations of World School Milk Day on the last Wednesday in September…
In Argentina, the Nutrition Department of the Maimonides University, within the framework of the Project"Schools as promoters of a healthy nutrition" has organized a series of activities in the Mother TeresaSchool in the Province of Buenos Aires to mark this year’s World School Milk Day (WSMD). The schoolprovides its 400 students from disadvantaged families of one of the poorest areas of Great Buenos Aireswith breakfast, lunch and snacks. In this context, the idea was born to promote milk consumption in schoolas well as to the families and the entire school community.
Dairy Australia ran a 'Milk It' competition for primary school students who were invited to create a cartoon illustrating what they think is great about drinking milk. The winning students won an iPod Shuffle and received a $1,000 sports equipment voucher for their school. Schools have also been asked to celebrate the Day by incorporating some fun lesson ideas and activities into the school curriculum.
On the occasion of WSMD, Lactea Brasil prepared a press release on the importance of teaching good and salutary eating habits in school.
In Canada, provincial School Milk Programs across the country distributed information kits (which included background information on WSMD, a sample news release that schools could use along with activity suggestions to mark the occasion) to elementary schools in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. The provinces also continued their National poster contest - the winning submission was developed into a promotional poster and distributed along with the information packages. A new element that was added for the 2006/07 school year was a sticker sheet (see picture) which included original artwork submitted for the poster contest from each of the participating provinces - the sticker sheets are being used as milk reminders for students in elementary schools across the country. The information packages reached just over 5,800 schools and 1,750,000 students across Canada.
Chile participated in this year’s celebrations with sports and other activities in a school in Santiago. The event was organized by FEDELECHE (the National Milk Producer's Federation) together with PROMOLAC (a partnership between producers and the industry to promote milk consumption). As part of the celebrations, students gave gym demonstrations and organized games dressed up as cows. On the occasion of this initiative, sports equipment was donated to the school and flavoured milk was offered to all participants.
The Ministry of Education of the Republic of China has been collaborating with John Tung Foundation to celebrate World School Milk Day 2 years in a row since 2005. This year, there were 72 junior high and elementary schools participated in “2-A-Day, Milk You Healthier” campaign voluntarily. In order to letpupils know the benefits of milk, schools held a series of activities to promote the importance of milk. Pupils can also get more information related to dairy products from different kinds of activities. Some special events included competitions creating posters, drawings, cartoons, slogans, calligraphies, stories, and compositions on the benefits of milk. There were many amazing art works created by pupils, especially milk carton creation. Further, seminars for teachers and parents were arranged to discuss the benefits of milk and to explain why milk is so important for children. Besides those events, some schools used discussion sessions, drama performance and held speeches to promote “2-A-Day of Milk” in public.
In Costa Rica, more than 750 school children celebrated this year’s World School Milk Day in Santo Domingo de Heredia. This was the fourth time that the local dairy company Coronado has organized activities in the country. The INBioparque offered a scenic location for the festivities where the students learned about biodiversity and the importance of milk and milk products to promote healthy growth. In occasion of the festivities, schools received sports equipment and other donations sponsored by Coronado. The children also had the possibility to taste different dairy products such as yoghurt, flavoured milk drinks and ice-cream. The event was advertised in the local media and various newspapers; TV and radio stations were reporting about the event in the Biopark.
“Milk in the Media” was the slogan of this year’s WSMD celebrations in Denmark. The Danish School Milk Scheme invited all 650,000 Danish school pupils to give their interpretation of Milk in the Media in one of their own media: photography. Each class was asked to choose and submit their candidate for a winner. They could use mobile phones, cameras and computers and could add text, music, smell or other off-beat ideas. What the pupils were asked to do was left very open: What do you associate with the slogan "Milk in the Media"? Put your ideas, memories, knowledge and thoughts into a photo. Let your photo speak for itself, or make it into an advert, CD cover, a milk carton, T-shirt, poster, etc. Around 55,000 campaign newsletters have been circulated to all Danish schools along with campaign posters for display on school premises, ensuring all schools are invited to take part. A catalogue has been developed as inspiration for teachers containing texts, songs, photos, old milk advertisements and references to other sources of information. A dedicated website(http://foto.micro-site.dk/) has also been set up for teachers to draw inspiration. The idea for the campaign originates from the desire to mobilize a wide range of know-how and skills for an activity that can be developed within a single subject or across a range of them. By encouraging interpretation of how milk is perceived, we encourage pupils to think for themselves and reflect on a cultural pillar in their upbringing and day-to-day lives.
In Finland, milk is served cooled in every school every normal school day for free for the children. In most schools there are at least two types (semi-skimmed and skimmed milk) of milk available. All school milk is pasteurized and there is also low-lactose or lactose-free milk available. Milk – White magic power is the name of a big 3 year long EU supported campaign going on in Finland to get the children to drink more milk and maintain the good image of milk. Within this campaign, the Dairy Nutrition Council delivered white clown noses and paper masks to the children at schools to have fun at World School Milk Day in September. Half of the schools in Finland ordered the material. Here is an example of the school where they celebrated the whole week. School kitchen personnel campaigned for the milk by telling the children the usual amount of used milk and encouraged them to raise the amount every day. Till the end of the weekthe children had almost doubled the school milk they used to drink. This is a good example: Even with a small load you can achieve big results!