News & Calendar

Come to the Table
Stephen Carter, Business Entrepreneurship Director/Upper School English Department

It is not enough to say that CHCA strives for excellence—rather, CHCA achieves it. Whether in the classroom or on the field, whether in Cincinnati or abroad, whether in PK2 or Grade 12, CHCA students excel. It is well known that the school fosters intellectual creativity, athletic prowess, service-mindedness, and spiritual growth, but what may be less known is the school’s more recent commitment to establishing an awareness around nutrition education.  Here are 5 examples:

1. School Garden: 

Lower School students gathering food from the CHCA garden


Lower School students gathering beans from the school garden

CHCA's Food Symposium brought together national authors, regional speakers, local chefs, and a host of community members in Greater Cincinnati who rallied around the importance of sustainability with regard to food. Through this experience as the host, CHCA established itself as a leader in this movement and the stride has continued. The school garden, situated between the EBL and Founders’ Campuses, generously established and donated by the O’Brien family (Michael ’15 and Alex ’17), reflects its bountiful potential and has offered opportunities for numerous elementary classes to learn about the origins of food and harvest vegetables. The PK4 students went a step further and planted their own radish seeds only to return to the garden for the harvest a few weeks later—thus closing the loop from seed to fork.

2. Food Truck Rally:

Happy Customer at the food truck rally
Upper School student at Food Truck rally
Upper School students at Red Sesame food truck

October is National Farm to School Month and CHCA took that opportunity to raise awareness through a series of events. One such event was a food truck rally at the MSL Campus, bringing in Harvest Mobile Cuisine, Red Sesame Korean BBQ, and Taste of Mexico. Food brings people together and those passing by would have witnessed this firsthand as students, faculty, and even parents clustered around, sampling a variety of cuisines and enjoying the sense of community that comes with enjoying good food. The event was so popular that the Upper School 9-12 will be hosting additional food truck rally events – watch announcements as all are welcomed to attend.

3. The Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch:

Armleder students at the Great Apple Crunch
CHCA entrepreneur students at the great apple crunch
Armleder student crunching in to an apple at the great apple crunch

CHCA’s recognition of National Farm to School Month also included  celebrating the harvest—specifically the harvest of apples—with participation in The Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch. A group of Upper School students in the Business Entrepreneurship Program headed to the Armleder campus to lead students in an appreciation and celebration of local apples.  After a series of interactive learning activities, all Armleder grades lined the front steps and, in unison, bit into crisp Jonathan apples harvested from a local farm. This event encapsulated CHCA’s commitment to understanding not just the importance of heathy food, but also the importance of knowing from where one’s food comes and supporting local food economies—an area in which CHCA truly is a leader.

4. Taste of CHCA:  At this event students celebrated the distinct cultural cuisines represented by our diverse families and our burgeoning International Student Program.

5. Fifth Bell Food Colloquium (5BFC): The excitement at CHCA toward all things food is underscored by the enthusiasm toward the Fifth Bell Food Colloquium (5BFC)—an ongoing food exploration opportunity hosted by Upper School teachers Dr. Savage (Science) and Mr. Hilderbrand (Visual Arts), which regularly brings together faculty and students to learn about and celebrate gastronomy in countless forms. 

An awareness of food and its connection to building community is ever increasingly important at CHCA. We invite you to come to the table, to get involved in the school’s commitment to educate the whole person, and to help foster excitement for all the amazing opportunities in our future.

Bon Appétit!

About the Author



Stephen Carter lives in Cincinnati, OH, with his wife, Ashley, and two children.  He runs CHCA’s Business Entrepreneurship Program which will expand soon beyond the current student-run coffee bar and other ventures to include a certificate program. In addition he teaches English and is working on a sustainability initiative at the school  which started with a successful Food Symposium and its effort to focus on food grown locally, raised sustainably, and harvested ethically.  He has too many hobbies and can usually be found developing sourdough bread recipes, preparing for his next backpacking trip, experimenting with new vegetables, or trying to find his next good read.


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