In early 2021, we hosted a virtual professional development series designed for Vermont K-12 educators to support them in implementing food systems, nutrition education, and hands-on learning opportunities into their curriculum. Topics include food justice, trauma informed practices, student engagement, school gardening, and cooking. Watch the recordings below:
School Food 101
Federal school meal programs are complicated, yet they are a critical part of the school day. Join the Vermont Farm to School Network in this webinar to gain a better understanding of how school nutrition programs operate and how cafeterias can be better integrated with the school day. We’ll share how local food and Harvest of the Month programs can bridge the gap between the classroom and cafeteria. We’ll share best practices for engaging with school nutrition professionals and methods for creating a school culture of health and wellness. The webinar was led by Food Connects Farm to School Program Manager Conor Floyd, Green Mountain Farm-to-School Program Manager Maire Folan, and Vermont FEED Farm to School Program Director Helen Rortvedt.
The Nuts & Bolts of Farm to School
Join the Vermont Farm to School Network to learn how to liven up your existing curriculum with a Farm to School approach! Farm to School is a multifaceted lens that can be used to bridge classroom concepts and transferable skills to students’ lives. This introductory session will dig into hands-on examples of programming you can use right away and is connected to your learning goals. Together we’ll explore: cooking with students, using the garden as an outdoor classroom, nutrition education, taste testing, and connecting with local farms. Teachers will leave with new ideas and next steps to apply Farm to School to their toolkit. The webinar was be led by Green Mountain Farm-to-School Program Manager Maire Folan, Northwest Vermont Healthy Roots Collaborative Farm to School Coordinator Rachel Huff, and Vital Communities Food & Farm Program Manager Beth Roy.
Student Engagement & Youth Voice
Farm to School builds connections between learners, their peers, and wider circles of community. Join the Vermont Farm to School Network in this webinar to learn about how to engage students as decision-makers has increased participation and shifted learning to a student centered model. We’ll uncover where potential partnerships in schools already exist and how they can be leveraged to elevate project-based teaching. We’ll share strategies and methods that invite students in as active members of the food system. The webinar was led by Shelburne Farms Director of Professional Learning Jen Cirillo, Food Connects Farm to School Program Manager Conor Floyd, and Northwest Vermont Healthy Roots Collaborative Farm to School Coordinator Rachel Huff.
Trauma Informed Practices
Explore how food and trauma are intertwined. Food can establish a strong sense of community, but can also be a point of stress and anxiety. We’ll provide an overview of trauma and the skills and factors that promote resilience. Explore trauma-related triggers associated with school meals and develop recommendations for trauma-responsive practices related to food. This time together will increase participant awareness of implicit biases about food, clearly articulate the connection between trauma and food, and provide tools for coordinating Farm to School and nutrition programs in their school through a Trauma Sensitive lens. The webinar was led by Food Connects Farm to School Program Manager Conor Floyd and Food Connects Farm to School Program Coordinator Sheila Humphreys.
Food Justice, Part 1 & Part 2
Explore the concepts of food justice and emergent issues within a community-based food system, as well as opportunities to affect change locally. A hands-on, virtual experience will illustrate what it takes to create a socially just school food system with the opportunity to collaborate with peers about integrating food justice into your teaching. These webinars were led by Shelburne Farms Professional Learning Facilitator Aimee Arandia Østensen and Shelburne Farms School Programs Coordinator Courtney Mulcahy.
Thanks to funding from the Vermont Agency of Education, these opportunity were available at no cost to participants.