Surgeon General Vice Admiral Regina Benjamin surrounded by King Middle School students in the school's kitchen. Photos: Tracey Taylor.

The U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Regina Benjamin, came to Berkeley today where she delivered a lecture on her vision for a healthy, fit nation at UC Berkeley, as well as being greeted warmly by a group of enthusiastic school children.

After her morning visit to the campus, Dr Benjamin dropped in to the Edible Schoolyard at King Middle School at about 2:30pm. A welcoming party was there to greet her, which included, among others, King’s Principal Jason Lustig, BUSD Superintendent Bill Huyett, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, food reformer Joy Moore, and restaurateur Alice Waters who led Dr Benjamin on a tour of the garden. The Edible Schoolyard is a program of the Chez Panisse Foundation.

The Surgeon General is given a tour of the Edible Schoolyard by Alice Waters.

King students were eager to show Dr Benjamin the fruits of their work. One boy, Billy Augustine, introduced the Surgeon General to a good-looking resident chicken.

After admiring the new growth of asparagus and sitting on hay bales chatting with students in the garden’s meeting area, Dr Benjamin was shown the school’s kitchens. An enthusiastic melée of students there insisted on having their photo taken with the Surgeon General, and several requested hugs.

Creating healthy schools and healthy child care settings are two of the key action points outlined in the Surgeon General’s plan for a healthy nation.

The Surgeon General chats to King students in the garden rotunda.
King student Billy Augustine introduced the Surgeon General to a good-looking resident chicken.

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...