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National Farm to School Network


This Week in farm to school: 12/13/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 

Grants & Funding
1. Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarships
Annie’s scholarship program assists undergraduate and graduate students pursuing studies in sustainable and organic agriculture. This year, 15 winners will each be eligible to receive $10,000. The program is open to full-time undergraduate and graduate students studying at an accredited two- or four-year college or graduate school in the United States for the 2017/2018 school year. Applications must be postmarked by January 6, 2017. Learn more here

2. NEA Foundation: Grants to Educators 
The NEA Foundation is providing mini-grants for projects and programs that can support STEM learning, such a urban farming and other farm to school activities. Deadlines for applications are due Feb. 1, June 1, and Oct. 15. Learn more here

Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: January NFSN Farm to ECE Webinar: Good Food, Great Kids Project 
January 11, 3:30-5pm ET
pfc Social Impact Advisors, in partnership with the National Farm to School Network and the BUILD Initiative, recently developed a series of case studies on the emerging benefits of farm to early care and education (farm to ECE) initiatives. These case studies, along with the accompanying policy report, explore the policy and practice of how communities are joining forces to bring farm to ECE programs to vulnerable children and families. Join us to hear from Hilda Vega, Vice President of Programs at pfc Social Impact Advisors, about the important lessons gleaned from the project and from the team at Norris Square Community Alliance, one of the featured case studies, about how their farm to ECE model is supporting equity and inclusion in the ECE setting. Register here

2. Save the Date: Community Food Systems Conference
December 5-7, 2017 // Boston, Mass. 
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project's Community Food Systems Conference will address common underlying themes between food security, social justice and sustainable agriculture including obstacles in urban and rural environments and fostering community empowerment to create and sustain resilient local food systems. Learn more here

1. Study: School Gardens in the City
In a newly published University of Maryland study of D.C. school gardens, researchers tracked significant differences in fifth-grade test results between students with gardens and those without. In reading, for example, 61 percent of students in garden schools tested as proficient or advanced, compared with 38 percent in schools without gardens. For math, the difference was 56 percent compared with 36 percent, and for science, 47 percent against 21 percent. Read the study here

2. School Meal Approaches, Resources, and Trends (SMART) Study
The Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project, a joint initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, recently released findings from its School Meal Approaches, Resources, and Trends (SMART) Study, a national survey of 489 school nutrition directors representing school food authorities (SFAs) across the country. The report, School Meal Programs Innovate to Improve Student Nutrition, identifies approaches that have attracted children to school meals and improved their consumption of healthy options since passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The report shows that school meal programs have made great progress in getting students to eat healthy foods and many see few or no remaining challenges to implementing updated breakfast and lunch nutrition standards. Learn more here

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Health & Wellness Program Coordinator, Berkeley Unified School District
The Health & Wellness Program Coordinator will assist in planning, coordinating, developing and implementing the District’s health and wellness curriculum; develop and prepare lesson plans and deliver instruction to students and families of diverse populations from a variety of cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds; develop instructional materials, methods and exercises centered on healthy nutrition, healthy cooking, physical activity and other health and wellness areas; assist in establishing program goals and objectives. Apply by January 3, 2017. Learn more here

2. PhD Research Assistantship in the Economics of Farm to School
The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (DARE) at Colorado State University is recruiting students to participate in a research project focused on evaluating the different economic impacts of farm to school programs on households, communities, and farm/value chain participants. More information can be found here

Farm to school in the news
As school gardens spread, so do the teaching moments
Some school garden lessons are obvious, such as the biology of growing a radish from seed. But the garden offers insights that go far beyond the brass tacks of cultivation. Geology, hydrology, poetry, music, ecology, cooking and microbiology all find a home in this arena we call a garden, as well as dozens of other subjects beyond most people’s imagination. Washington Post

Turnip! Talented Teens Create Rap Video Encouraging Kids To Eat Healthy
Teen members of Appetite for Change in North Minneapolis, Minn., have come up with an infectious hip-hop song appropriately titled "Grow Food," which hears the young people rap about the benefits of healthy eating. Essence 

Alabama students build outdoor classrooms
Students at an elementary school in Alabama are constructing two outdoor classrooms that include raised garden beds. The students are growing cabbage, kale and lettuce in the new beds. Shelby County Reporter 

Read past editions of This Week for more funding opportunities, webinars and events, jobs, and ways to take action to support farm to school growth across the country. 


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