Last week, on Tuesday, November 12th, AGC’s 4th grade classes joined Corporate Accountability International in protesting McDonalds’ restaurants targeted marketing to children. Their demands were simple: retire the clown! The students’ homemade signs included slogans like “Kids NOT Lovin’ It.” Siram Madhusoodanan, the director of Corporate Accountability International’s “Value the Meal” campaign, explains that McDonald’s marketing “take[s] advantage of the developmental vulnerability of kids.” In his coverage of the protest for the Chicago Tribune and Pioneer Local, Chuck Fieldman adds “just as the Marlboro Man and Joe Camel were used by tobacco companies in cigarette advertising before being retired, it’s time to retire Ronald McDonald.”
AGC 4th grader Joaquin Valencia and his family were interviewed for the article, as they stopped eating McDonald’s altogether four months ago. “I loved it,” Joaquin said, “but I know that food isn’t good for me.” “Fast food is easy and cheap,” his mother, Minerva acknowledges, “but we need to educate ourselves about what we eat and have to make healthier choices.”
Healthier choices are a foundation of AGC’s educational program and philosophy. Nutritious, local and scratch-made foods are showcased in AGC’s breakfast and lunch menus, explored in AGC’s curriculum, whose International Baccalaureate Programme includes Units of Inquiry like “Farm to Table,” and “We are What we Eat;” and reinforced by the school culture, including in parent-run events like the Taste of AGC Fall Harvest Festival.
4th grade teacher Trey Thompson explains how this field trip fits into AGC’s philosophy and curriculum: “We have a pretty progressive view on how food affects kids, and we eat all organic food at our school. We just finished a unit of inquiry on persuasion, so this was a great exercise in talking about how people are persuaded.” Read the full Chicago Tribune article here.