By Renee De Shay
Tasha joined Captain Planet Foundation as manager of Project Learning Garden in 2018, after nearly a decade of growing in the field as a teacher in Atlanta Public Schools. In each of her teaching positions Tasha used her campus gardens and green spaces to weave health and environmental awareness and engagement into her school culture. Bringing her classroom experience to her role in PLG, her mission is to help educators bridge perceived gaps between the standards they’re required to teach and the environmental and wellness related topics they feel the need to teach, using outdoor STEAM and PBL instruction as the vehicle.
1. What role do you play in the farm to school and early care and education movement? Project Learning Garden is a holistic school grant program that furnishes participating schools with school gardens, taste-testing and food prep equipment, curriculum, and professional development. I work with teachers to adopt gardens and outdoor learning labs as tools for engaging their students and delivering standards-based instruction.
2. Why are you excited to present your topic? What are some key takeaways attendees will get from your session? I was a teacher for years before joining Captain Planet Foundation, so I understand some of the barriers that educators might perceive when trying to make authentic connections between their learning gardens and their classroom instruction. I am very excited to share with other educators just how naturally garden and food-based lessons and projects can support and extend their students’ learning in the content areas they’re already teaching. Teachers should leave this session armed with a few tips and lessons they can take back to their schools, with the goal of increasing student engagement, without straying from required learning objectives.
3.What are you looking forward too at the Georgia Farm to School and Early Care and Education Summit? It’s so energizing to share space and ideas with educators and other innovators active in the Farm to School movement! At times, this type of work, though crucial, can leave some of us feeling slightly isolated, perhaps even unsupported, in our classrooms and efforts. I look forward to learning more about how others are making progress in their arenas, and I’m definitely looking forward to the invigoration that comes from interacting and engaging with this community.
Presented by Georgia Farm to School Alliance and Georgia Farm to Early Care and Coalition, hosted by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning and Georgia Organics.
The farm to early care and education (farm to ECE) and farm to school movement connects early care providers, schools, and local farms in an effort to serve healthy meals and snacks, improve student nutrition, and increase farm and gardening educational opportunities. This year’s Summit welcomes early care providers and staff, teachers, school nutrition staff, students, parents, farmers, distributors, and others interested in learning more about Georgia’s farm to ECE and farm to school community.
Click HERE to register. Registration closes May 13.