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Teacher: Stephanie Faulkner who teaches at Highland Forest Elementary in San Antonio, TX. Stephanie Faulkner can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Candy Exchange

Rationale/Purpose of Event: The purpose of this event is to help students limit the intake of unhealthy candy and include families and the community.

Suggested Grade Level: PRE-8

Materials Needed: Donated toys, trinkets, stickers, school supplies, healthy snacks and drinks, tables, volunteers to work the tables, paper to send out notices, signs for tables.

Candy Exchange

In order to help students and their families limit the intake of unhealthy candy, Highland Forest Elementary hosted a Halloween candy exchange on Nov. 1st, the day after Halloween. Students, their families and children in the community, showed up at the school with candy in order to purchase toys, trinkets, healthy snacks and drinks. Four tables were set up, each labeled with the number of pieces of candy needed to "purchase" the items on that table. For example "What you can get for 5 pieces of candy..."

Students spent time "shopping" for the items they wanted, then met a volunteer at the trash can to calculate how much candy was needed to make the purchase. The candy was then counted and put in the trash. Students gave up candy and gained toys, trinkets, jewelry, school supplies, stickers, etc.

Prior to this event, many businesses were contacted in order to secure donations of toys and snacks. Our Food Services department donated commodity raisins and bottled water. The staff members donated school supplies, toys, trinkets and snacks. The students and their families donated a wide variety of items for this event. Our school PTA also purchased and donated toys, pencils, and other trinkets.

We collected over 100 pounds of candy and had over 200 children show up for this first time event. Many students left and then returned with additional Halloween candy in order to purchase more items. Many high school clubs and organizations volunteered to work the tables and help students make purchases.


This event could be held any time of the year in which students are faced with unhealthy food choices such as Valentine's Day.

Have students trade in their candy for the opportunity to shoot hoops, play tennis, do DDR, try fitness stations, etc.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

Prior lessons on the food pyramid and where candy fits in are necessary for this event to be a success.

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Posted on PEC: 11/16/2008 and has received 76 votes.

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