THORNDIKE — Health problems prevented former Costa Rican president and Nobel Prize winner Oscar Arias from visiting Mt. View High School on Tuesday, as planned.

The visit from Arias was supposed to be a perk of winning the 2010 Global Call to Action Award from the Peace Jam Foundation, an international organization that educates young people about the work of Nobel laureates.

Mt. View students were in Denver this weekend accepting that award, which they won for their ongoing effort to make school lunches healthier. They found out their project was selected for the prize at an all-school assembly last month.

Principal Lynda Letteney said the students met Arias this weekend, but that he wasn’t able to make the trip to Maine for health reasons. Instead, another Nobel laureate will visit the school in the spring. She didn’t know Tuesday who that would be.

About 20 high school students participate in the Mt. View’s Peace Jam group, which was formed four years ago. Their work started with an organic garden meant to provide fresh produce to the local food pantry. When it produced too much food, the group offered the excess to the school lunch program.

When the school was renovated in 2008, the students asked for space for gardens to grow food specifically for school lunches. The project now includes a recycling program in the cafeteria with a bin for compost that’s used to fertilize the gardens.

Letteney said the three students and two chaperones that went to the Peace Jam awards ceremony in Colorado were flying back Tuesday.

Leslie Bridgers — 861-9252

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