School is back in session. Kare learning new lessons, and so are their teachers. This month, educators from throughout the Southeast will converge at ASAP’s Southeast Farm to School Conference in Greenville, South Carolina. They’ll learn how to bring farm to school lessons back to their classrooms and preschools with workshops on how to start a school garden, ways to integrate local produce into their cafeterias, and much more.
Successful farm to school programs will serve as inspiration for educators who are just beginning to bring local food into their schools. A preschool teacher from Kentucky will share strategies for helping kids transition from chicken nuggets to chef salads. Extension agents from South Carolina will teach School Gardening 101 and talk about how they installed over 100 school gardens in the state.
Keynote speaker Donna Martin is the President-elect of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the director of the school nutrition program in Burke County, Georgia. First Lady Michelle Obama helped plant a garden there, which was the first school garden she helped establish outside of the Washington, DC area. Martin is a leader in the field who will offer fresh ideas and practical guidelines for teachers and school administrators.
Educators will bring this knowledge and enthusiasm back to their classrooms. Some will start brand new programs, while others will use these techniques to strengthen their current efforts. It takes the whole community to grow a farm to school program, from agriculture experts and university professors to farmers, chefs, and parents.
Find out more about farm to school programs and learn how to share local food with students in your community at www.growing-minds.org