A cadre of South Korean dignitaries traveled overseas this week to learn more about Bakersfield City School District’s award-winning nutrition program in the hopes of emulating it in their country.

In its official request to visit, officials from Sejong City, South Korea, said they wanted to visit “in an effort to take responsibility for healthy food of the future generation,” and that it’s launching a new program in Sejong-type public school meals with this vision in mind: “Healthy food, happy citizens.”

Four officials from Sejong City Hall and four from the city’s Office of Education toured BCSD Tuesday, meeting first with administrators, then visiting James Curran Middle School to get a firsthand look at the nutrition program, which earlier this year received a Healthier U.S. School Challenge gold recognition by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

That caught the attention of those in South Korea, BCSD spokeswoman Irma Cervantes said.

BCSD’s program goes beyond serving nutritious food. It also includes a regular cooking series that teaches parents and kids how to prepare healthy meals, and encourages kids to get active by joining dance clubs, track teams and even Zumba and yoga.

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