Issues such as the rise of obesity in children and the negative physical affects of our 21st century lifestyles on children’s well-being are regularly making international headlines. There is an increasing insistence that providing good nutrition and enabling active lifestyles for children are essential responsibilities in the realm of parenting. For many parents of today, this means they have to gain new knowledge about good food and healthy living. This May 2009 Woolworths, as part of their ‘Making The Difference Educational Programme Targeting Grade Four Learners’, is hosting a free parent talk at Willow Ridge Private School in Honeydew, Gauteng. The parent talk, prepared in conjunction with the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA) and Shelly Meltzer & Associates (the dietary practice at the SSISA), will focus on ‘Behaviour for Life’ and will be presented by dietician Lauren Tanchel. Parent Talk details: Date: 26 May 2009 Time: 18h00 Venue: Willow Ridge Private School, Honeydew, Gauteng Topic: Behaviour in Life Speaker/dietician: Lauren Tanchel Contact: Fabrizia “Fabz” degli Esposti on 021 424 1530 or Over the past few years, Woolworths and SSISA have been successfully sharing their nutrition and healthy living expertise with South African parents through the innovative ‘Making The Difference Educational Programme Targeting Grade Four Learners’ parent talks. The popularity of these events is testimony to the value Woolworths is adding in our school communities. In 2009, Woolworths will host 45 free parent talks at schools across Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban. The aim of these events is to make it easy for parents to access the latest important information and guidelines on children's nutrition, health and well-being. The content results from the well-established partnership between Woolworths and the SSISA. Top registered dieticians are brought to schools to share their expertise, answer queries and address parents' concerns. Each talk is between 40 minutes to one hour long, and the aim is to empower and equip parents by sharing expertise, providing tips and advice as well as answering queries and addressing parents' concerns. Woolworths General Manager: Making The Difference educational programmes, Pieter Twine says: “We see the ‘Making The Difference Educational Programme Targeting Grade Four Learners’ parent talks as a valuable way for our school communities to be part of the Woolworths Good Food Journey. Providing children with a healthy balanced diet and enabling a healthy attitude towards nutrition and exercise are top priorities for parents. The talks are a concise, organised way for parents to get the information they need from a registered dietician who helps them to deal with the many myths and challenges around diet.” Since the inception of the Woolworths ‘Making The Difference Educational Programme Targeting Grade Four Learners’ in 2006, 7,103 parent talks have taken place in schools across Gauteng. Nationally, the programme has undertaken more than 17,000 parent talks and has coordinated 14,301 Woolworths suppliers’ farm or factory visits, 5,345 distribution centre visits and 15,217 store outings in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape. The ‘Making The Difference Educational Programme Targeting Grade Four Learners’ is an important part of Woolworths' commitment to uplifting education and adding value by interacting directly in South African communities. ENDS Notes to the Editor ‘Making The Difference Educational Programme Targeting Grade Four Learners’ – an innovative educational initiative •‘Making The Difference Educational Programme Targeting Grade Four Learners’ focuses on sharing Woolworths’ extensive knowledge around good food and nutrition. •The programme is designed for Grade Four learners and targets their educators and parents. •Each participating school receives a teacher’s resource pack with nine learning modules covering health, nutrition, the importance of physical activity, water education, sustainability and permaculture. • In addition to the resource packs, there is an experiential learning component to complement the ‘Making The Difference Educational Programme Targeting Grade Four Learners. This component includes outings for the learners to Woolworths stores and suppliers, and incorporates the Woolworths Trust EduPlant 2008 programme. •For parents there is a series of 45 parent talks aimed at offering assistance and advice on their children’s health, nutrition and physical well-being. MySchool Programme – Shop and raise money for Schools •The MySchool programme encourages supporters to raise funds for schools. •Consumers throughout the country who carry MySchool and Woolworths World of Difference cards can earn additional funds for their chosen schools by simply swiping their card at the tills each time they buy at any Woolworths store in South Africa. •Woolworths World of Difference card holders are automatically invited to participate in MySchool. •Cardholders can support any school of their choice and do not have to have children at school in order to participate. •Woolworths through the MySchool programme to date has contributed more than R50 million to participating schools. •In October 2007 MyPlanet / MyVillage was introduced, this an extension of the MySchool programme, enabling customers to raise funds for selected charities & environmental organisations. •As an added bonus Woolworths World of Difference card holders are entered into a monthly lucky draw via each item that they have purchased. The monthly winner receives R10 000-00 credit on their World of Difference card and another R10 000-00 for their nominated school. •All South Africans are encouraged to participate in the MySchool programme by getting a brochure from the nearest Woolworths outlet or contacting MySchool on 0860-100 445.