When students engage in growing food, they gain knowledge and skills to make lifelong healthy food choices. In response to growing demand from teachers for summer support, we’ve partnered with former student, Celia Feal-Staub, to develop a Summer Garden Program for our member schools. Last year’s pilot with 6 schools was a success and we are excited to continue growing this program in 2018. We need $5,000 to fund the program this summer. Fortunately, we’ve already received a contribution from Oak Grove Elementary School. Food Connects will contribute $2500 as well. We need your support to raise an additional $2,000 this spring. Donate today to support your local schools and the next generation of healthy eaters!
At Food Connects, we strive to cultivate healthy food and farm connections in . Each school year, our Farm to School program supports initiatives at more than 20 schools in Windham and Windsor Counties. Many of our schools have built and maintained beautiful gardens from which their students can learn and grow. In these spaces, students plant seeds, watch them grow and harvest their bounty in the fall, when they arrive back at school. Many schools rely on this product for Harvest Suppers come fall.
One barrier to school garden education is staff capacity during the summer months. Educators have indicated a need for support during this time, so we've developed a creative solution - a summer garden internship! The Summer Garden Coordinator empowers students by working with them to build and maintain garden beds at their schools. Last summer, we piloted this program with our 6 members schools. Our Coordinator, Celia, maintained the gardens, held open garden hours for families and participated in community food initiatives, such as Edible Brattleboro. According to one staff member, "Celia's help was invaluable! Such a necessary component that is hard to create otherwise".
This summer, we are hoping to expand this pilot program and to do so, we need $5,000. Your donation will be used as part of a stipend for the Summer Garden Coordinator position. Food Connects will kick off the campaign with an automatic contribution of $2,500 and we’ve received another $500 from Oak Grove School. We need an additional $2,000 to fund the position this summer. Donate here or send a Tax Deductible check to Food Connects: 45 Farmhouse Square, Brattleboro, VT 05301.
The Summer Garden Coordinator will be…
- Planting with classes in the spring
- Maintaining gardens with the help of families over the summer
- Hosting open garden hours for families from June to Mid-August
- Working with local food shelves to supply fresh produce
- Participating in various community initiatives, such as Edible Brattleboro
- Sharing photos, videos and stories with Food Connects staff, so that we may celebrate with the wider community
Don't worry! If you are unable to donate today, you can help us by spreading the word to friends and family. Please share our campaign with your network and check in with your local school to see how you might get involved in their farm to school program.