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FoodCorps Service Site Spotlight: the Captain Planet Foundation

FordGeorgia Organics is thrilled to be bringing FoodCorps to Georgia, and we’ve selected some incredible partner organizations to serve as the FoodCorps service Sites: the Captain Planet Foundation, the Athens Land Trust, and the Northeast Georgia Farm to School Program (Georgia Organics’ pilot program).

Four service members will serve in Atlanta with Captain Planet Foundation, which “supports high-quality, hands-on environmental stewardship projects that have enabled more than 1.1M youth across the U.S. and around the world make significant environmental improvements to their schools or communities.”

FoodCorps service members will be working closely with teachers in Atlanta Public Schools and DeKalb County Schools as they incorporate school gardens  and nutrition education into the curriculum. We talked to Executive Director Leesa Carter about Captain Planet Foundation’s plans for FoodCorps this year.

Tell us a little about your organization.
Based on the critically-acclaimed animated series “Captain Planet and the Planeteers,” CPF was co-founded in 1991 by media mogul Ted Turner and producer Barbara Pyle. Since then, the Captain Planet Foundation has played a critical role in helping to ensure that the next generation of business leaders and policy makers are environmentally literate citizens who leverage technology and information to manage and protect the land, air, and water upon which all life depends.

CPF is a grant-making foundation that has distributed more than $2.5 million to fund over 1,800 hands-on environmental education projects with schools and non-profits that serve children in all 50 U.S. states and in 23 countries internationally. More than 1 million children have directly participated in and benefited from these educational projects. In addition to its Small Grants Program, the Captain Planet Foundation also operates the following programs: Project Learning Garden, the Leadership Center, SAGES, Planeteer Clubs, and a number of other science education initiatives that exploit the intersections between technology, innovation, the environment and personal action. For more information: www.captainplanetfdn.org.

Why are you excited about having FoodCorps at your site?
CPF is excited to host four FoodCorps service members as part of our comprehensive school garden program, Project Learning Garden. With a planned expansion from 60 to 120 metro-Atlanta schools in School Year 2015, FoodCorps will be crucial to successful growth and program implementation. We are also excited to be connected to FoodCorps’ national experience and resources which will help grow Project Learning Garden in new ways.

What sorts of projects will your FoodCorps service members be doing?
Services members will primarily work in four areas: 1) They will be assigned schools around metro-Atlanta to support the teachers’ use of Project Learning Garden’s standards-linked, garden-based lessons on a regular basis; 2) They will perform our healthy recipe demos with students as part of the mobile cooking cart that each of our schools receives from CPF; 3) They will work with the entire school community to develop sustainability plans for how to best use and support the school gardens into the future; and 4) Each service member will support a different Project Learning Garden program area – from nutrition to media – in order to take what they learn with their individual schools and create “Best Practices” for the entire program.

What do you hope to achieve after a year of having your FoodCorps service members onsite?
After one year of having our FoodCorps service members onsite, we hope to see thriving gardens at Project Learning Garden schools, filled with classes who are learning cross-curricular standards, and students harvesting abundant produce that they turn into tasty recipes for the whole school to share! We also hope to see school districts offering more comprehensive support for use of school gardens for instructional time, and students eating more fresh and local school lunches.

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