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Below the overview of the district are links to KBIA's coverage of Columbia 93 district schools, updated as more stories are published. Columbia 93 at a glanceThe Columbia 93 school district currently includes 32 different schools. In 2014, the district had a k-12 enrollment of 17,204 students, which is 2% of the total k-12 enrollment for the state. Enrollment has been slightly increasing in recent years, 2% since 2011. While a small percent, that amounts to almost 400 more students. There have also been major re-drawing of attendance areas with the addition of Battle High School. Middle school attendance areas shape high school boundaries 00000178-cc7d-da8b-a77d-ec7d2f9e0000The changes have affected all schools in the district, including causing high school attendance to increase and overcrowding at one middle school at least.

Columbia Public Schools receives USDA grant

Luke Runyon
Harvest Public Media

Columbia middle school students will be seeing more locally grown foods on their plates after the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded the district a $100,000 grant.

The grant is not just aimed to bring more fresh fruits and vegetables to Columbia youth. The district will partner with the University of Missouri Extension to help preserve local produce to provide to students when not in-season and reach out to more locally-owned farms to purchase their fruits and vegetables.

Columbia Public Schools Nutritional Services Director Laina Fullum said that locally grown foods taste better for multiple reasons.

"It is typically picked on time, it doesn't travel very far and the shelf life is better," she said. "If things tend to taste better, then I believe that students are more apt to go back and eat an item again. And that’s what we are hoping for, taste better, eat more of it.”

University of Missouri Extension Associate Cindy DeBlauw said that if the fruits and vegetables taste better, then kids will eat more of them. Ultimately, that will help them cut calories out of their diet and it will help the battle with obesity in children.

The grant will also help to expand education of the growth of these foods and their nutritional value.

"We hope that there is a connection the kids get with their food and to understand where their food comes from and the people that are growing it and preparing it," DeBlauw said.

The grant will cover 82 projects nationwide and will cost more than $5 million.

Kyle Norris is from Michigan and spent ten years as a host and reporter with Michigan Radio, the state’s largest NPR-affiliate. He lives in Seattle and works as a producer, reporter and educator.
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