P. O. BOX 2120
May 7, 1999


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: 1999 USDA Best Practices Awards Program
Once again this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 
Mid-Atlantic Regional Office (USDA-MARO) is sponsoring 
the "Best Practices Awards Program."  These awards were 
established to recognize excellence in school nutrition 

During the past six years, 33 local School Nutrition 
Programs have been selected to receive Best Practices 
Awards.  More than 40 percent of these awards have been 
first-place winners.  I encourage each of you to look at 
the great things you have done this year, and submit your 
application with the proper documentation to be entered 
in this contest.

The award categories continue to emphasize the importance 
of providing quality services to our customers and to the 
community, as well as highlighting ways for school 
nutrition staff to develop their skills. The seven 
categories are as follows:

1. Creative Implementation of the School Meals 
2. Innovative Food Service Practices
3. Establishing Cooperative Partnerships
4. Increasing Nutrition Awareness
5. Training and Professional Development
6. Community Involvement
7. Improved School Breakfast Participation

Competition is among the Mid-Atlantic Region representing 
West Virginia, Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, 
Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.  
Winners will be selected in each of the seven categories.

Included with this letter is a detailed description of 
the categories and a nomination form.

To compete for this coveted award, please submit the 
nomination form, and the supporting documentation to the 
Department of Education, School Nutrition Office, P. O. 
Box 2120, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120 by June 30, 1999.  
Your application will be reviewed and forwarded to the 
USDA Mid-Atlantic Regional office by the deadline of JULY 
30, 1999.  The nomination packet must include the 
following information:

* the category for the nomination;
* a description of the program (300 words or less);
* the time period that the practice has taken 
* documentation, such as videos, photographs, 
  newspaper articles, etc.;
* a copy of any materials that have been developed;
* the name, mailing address, and telephone number 
  of a contact person at the school or school 
  division level, as well as the name of the 
  division superintendent;

The Best Practices Program is an opportunity for the 
school nutrition staff to be recognized for their 
contributions to health and nutritional well being of 
Virginia's children.

If you have any questions, please contact Catherine 
Digilio Grimes, Director of School Nutrition Programs at 
(804) 225-2074. 


Enclosure:      A hard copy of this memo and its attach-
                will be sent to the superintendent's