Virginia task force seeks to make school meals, calendars more culturally inclusive

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Thursday formed a task force charged with making school meals and academic calendars more culturally inclusive.

Its two subcommittees will make recommendations on providing more diverse food offerings to students of different religious and ethnic backgrounds.

The goal is to also recognize a diverse list of religious and cultural holidays “such as Eid al-Fitr, Ash Wednesday, Lunar New Year, Yom Kippur, Diwali, and other days that may not be acknowledged on school calendars but bear significant cultural importance to many students in our classrooms,” Education Secretary Atif Qarni said in a statement from Northam’s office.

“When our school environments reflect the history, values, cultures, and traditions of the communities they serve our students are better positioned to learn and thrive,” Northam said in the statement.

The task force comprises students, parents, teachers, nutrition experts and more. They began meeting late last month and will meet every other week in June and July, Northam’s office said. They’ll make their recommendations in August.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2012 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He went to George Washington University as an undergraduate and is regularly surprised at the changes to the city since that faraway time.

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