To improve student health and enhance parent understanding, the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District (ISD) in Carrollton, Texas, has put $95,000 into developing a program to give parents, students, and other community stakeholders a new way to learn about the foods offered in its schools: a virtual cafeteria.

The Flash-enabled program, available to all stakeholders through the district's web site, allows parents and students to play what amounts to a nutrition orientation game--with a bit of low-level arithmetic instruction offered as gravy.

In the virtual cafeteria, Cathy, an animated cafeteria worker, stands behind the...

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