Northeast Virtual Farm to School Institute & Learning Community
Feedback from Participants:
“Spending time with my team has been incredible. It’s bringing us together, helping us discover each other’s strengths, and bonding us into a committed team.”
“The energy of the other schools keeps me motivated! Sometimes this work can get discouraging and seeing other schools move forward is encouraging.”
“The focus on agriculture, local food, and nutrition is paying off in the classroom. Kids are interested, and teachers are given more diversity in the curriculum.”
Applications are now closed for the 2021-22 program.
The Institute is a unique year-long professional learning opportunity for selected school, district, or early childhood teams from New England and New York.
Since 2010, the Farm to School Institute has been bringing teams together to build relationships, skills, and a collaborative action plan for their school. With the support of a coach, teams spend the school year putting their plans into action and strengthening their capacity to impact classrooms, cafeterias and communities, with change that lasts.
BENEFITS OF PARTICIPATION
- Farm to school action planning: During the program, participants develop a values-based, school-wide farm to school action plan that integrates curriculum, local procurement, youth voice, and family and community connections.
- Coaching: Teams are paired with an experienced coach from their state’s Farm to School or Early Childhood Network. You’ll have communication and meetings with this coach throughout the school year to assist you in implementing and adapting your action plan to meet the changing needs of your school.
- Skill building: Participants engage in workshops designed around school specific roles, and meet with technical assistance providers to get support on their action plan.
- Networking with peers: Individuals and teams share innovations and challenges, join in dialogue, and share with others across the Northeast throughout the Institute experience.
- Spring 2021 Identify your farm to school or early childhood team, that may include educators and other staff, school nutrition staff, coordinators, administrators, family/community partners, and students (grades 6-12).
- August 9–10 Attend a virtual deep dive into farm to school action planning and networking with peers around the region, exploring farm to school possibilities.
- September–May Meet regularly as a team with your coach as you implement your action plan during the school year. Role-specific (educator, school nutrition staff, coordinator, student leaders) community of practice/professional learning community that meets monthly.
- Spring 2022 Regional in-person retreat and/or learning journeys.
2021-2022 APPLICATION DETAILS
- Applications are now closed.
- Team orientation (virtual), date TBD
- Register and submit $600 team program fee by May 24, 2021 to secure your team’s spot. Scholarships available.
- Identify your farm to school team of 4–7 participants:
- FOR SCHOOL-BASED OR EARLY CHILDHOOD TEAMS: Teams must be composed of 4–6 individuals representing various constituencies in the school and community. Teams must have representation from the three following roles: administration, teachers, school nutrition/food service. Additional members can include: students (middle or high school), family members, farmers, community partners, school nurse and other staff, school board, etc.
- FOR SCHOOL DISTRICT-WIDE TEAMS: Teams must be composed of 5–7 individuals representing various constituencies in the school and community. Teams must have: district-level administration, teachers, school nutrition/food service. Additional team members can include: students (middle or high school), family members, farmers, community partners, school nurse and other staff, school board, etc. In your application, please identify one or two particular schools in your district to focus on implementing your Farm to School action plan that can serve as an example for other schools within the district. We have found this to be the most successful way to guide district teams through the planning process.
Get to know the Institute
Farm to school (FTS) is a comprehensive strategy with a goal of helping students establish lifelong positive relationships with food while supporting a more just food system. The strategies used to achieve this shift are: serving healthy local food in schools, improving student nutrition, providing hands-on food systems learning opportunities, and developing meaningful relationships between community partners, schools and students. Farm to school supports youth in connecting the dots of where their food comes from and how their food choices impact their bodies, the environment, and their communities at large.
Harwood Union High School's experience:
Webinar recordings from 2020:
Access the resource page here.
Access the resource page here.
Find additional resources and a Q+A with Jamese here.
Read more about the Institute through the years on the press page.
This opportunity is provided by Vermont FEED and the Northeast Farm to School Collaborative with funding from USDA Food & Nutrition Service, Henry P. Kendall Foundation, and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.