This fall, 18 educators and food service directors from schools across the Pre K - 12 spectrum and throughout the Southshire attended a six part professional development course at Mount Anthony Union Middle School. Schools represented were: Bennington Elementary, Early Education Program - Division Street, Molly Stark Elementary, Mount Anthony Middle and High School, On Point Elementary and Middle Schools, Pownal Elementary, Sunderland Elementary, and Village School North Bennington. Together, they learned about the many ways that schools can embrace the three C's of Farm to School - classrooms, cafeterias and communities, to impact student learning, health and engagement in their "place". You can read more about the course here.
We had a stellar group of guest educators and sector leaders join us, including:
Derek Andersen, Burr and Burton Academy, Dene Farm Campus; Chris Callahan, UVM Extension; Alisa del Tufo, Threshold Collaborative; Kimberly Griffin, UVM Extension and 4H; Rebecca Mitchell, Hunger Free Vermont; Abbie Nelson, NOFA- Vermont; Beth Roy, Vital Communities; Rob Terry, Merck Forest and Farmland Center; Kestrel Plump, Shelburne Farms; Joe Bossen, Vermont Bean Craters and All Souls Tortilleria; Kathleen O'Reilly, Vermont Department of Heath; and Maureen O'Neil, The Abbey Group and Food Director for the Southwestern Vermont Supervisory Union (SVSU).
Each school "team" now has an actionable project or idea to bring into their school community in 2018. We plan to offer a "Farm to School - Classroom, Cafeteria and Community Connections" course this Spring, 2018 which will strengthen the baseline and engage more schools in this engaging and fun work.
Special thanks to Ryan Morra at Shelburne Farms and Vermont-FEED (Food Education Every Day) for making this course so successful in our region and to Laura Boudreau, Director of Curriculum at SVSU, for her encouragement and support.