Food Roots' Farm to School program has been growing and evolving for the past ten years and we continue to build sustainability and strategic development thanks to our community of supporters who understand the impacts of this programming for student well-being. The National Farm to School Network has summarized research that shows the benefits of Farm to School programming including increasing students’ preferences for fresh fruit and vegetables, improving performance in school (science in particular), and impacting positive social behavior. The programming we provide is rooted in this research: we focus on hands-on activities that encourage inquiry and critical reasoning and prioritize activities that complement Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core ELA and math standards.
We'll be partnering with six schools for the 2019-20 school year to provide regular garden based education. These six schools include Nehalem Elementary, Garibaldi Grade School, Tillamook Junior High School, South Prairie Elementary, Nestucca Valley Elementary, and Neskowin Valley School. We anticipate working with 1,000 students each month and students will engage in the following Food Roots programming:
School-wide tasting tables in which all students have the opportunity to sample in-season, locally-grown fruits and vegetables
Regular in-classroom, garden-based lessons, utilizing on-site gardens and Food Roots comprehensive Garden Education Curriculum. This curriculum builds across grades K-6, aligns with Next Generation Science Standards and other educational standards, is adapted to the growing conditions of Oregon’s north coast, and provides space for students and educators to share their own food and gardening experiences, stories, and heritage.
Farm and fishery field trips and farmer to classroom visits
Family engagement events at schools
Additionally, we will co-facilitate a cohort of Tillamook School District 9 teachers in the 2019-20 school year to support their use of Project Based Learning in school gardens.
Finally, with a Local Salad Bar Project, we are working to support schools with local food procurement for school food service. Over the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years we'll be helping schools pilot putting locally grown salad greens on the salad bar for lunches. By including locally grown foods in school meals, schools and farmers support each other and students benefit. This salad bar project is a great place to start this work.
Food Roots works with the Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Network as its state hub lead for the north coast region; connecting school districts with local food producers and providing technical assistance for both local and regional food to cafeteria procurement and garden education resources.
If you wish to support, engage in or learn more about Food Roots Farm to School program please contact us.