October Farm to School Month as an Entry Point
By, Dory Cooper, Carrollton City Schools Service Member
October Farm to School Month has been a whirlwind to the start my FoodCorps service term. The month-long celebration has provided context to my presence in the Carrollton City School system along with an incentive to push myself out of my comfort zone.
Georgia Organics’ “Leaf it to Spinach” campaign has been a great opportunity to get into classrooms, the cafeteria, and reach out to faculty and staff about my role and the importance of nutrition education in the classroom. The state-wide initiative has provided context for my presence in the school and given me talking points to explain events and campaigns that I will continue throughout the school year.
This month acted as the grand opening of my service term and allowed me to really put myself out there into the school. Not only is October Farm to School month a great introduction of my role to the school community, it has also inspired me to push myself to get involved much more quickly and loudly.
I’ve planned more taste tests than I would have thought possible, taught weekly after school lessons, led 120 Pre-K students to plant seeds, hosted a green smoothie event at the high school, painted garden signs, and sent out school wide emails full of lesson plans and spinach facts – most of which I would have been a bit more hesitant to take on so early in the school year.
I am thankful for the timing of October Farm to School Month as in introduction and inspiration to the opportunities that I have to get involved in the school-wide culture of health so early in my service term.
After my first week of teaching lessons, a 2nd grade student recognized me and yelled “Hi Miss Dory!” as I was walking down the hallway. I was shocked that I stood out in his memory after such a short amount of time. The impact I’m having in creating a positive culture of health is already becoming apparent and I can’t wait to see how much it improves as the year goes on!