Webinar Recap: Beyond The Local Food Event: Conversations with Teacher Champions

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Author: Jenn Kucharczyk

Posted: June 24, 2015

Categories: Edible Education Network / GoodFoodBites / News from Sustain Members / News from Sustain Ontario / Webinars

On June 10th, Coreen Jones of Ecosource and Jody Mitchell of Roots to Harvest hosted a lively conversation with two Ontario secondary school teachers on how to bring more local food into the school environment, and how to embed these initiatives into the broader school community. Thank you to Coreen and Jody for presenting the Alternative Avenues project and for facilitating the discussion with teachers Mark Williamson (Henry Street Secondary School, Durham District School Board) and Nancy White (Superior CVI, Lakehead District School Board).

Webinar: Beyond the Local Food Event: Conversations with Teacher Champions from Sustain Ontario on Vimeo.

Watch the recording to hear more about these two teachers’ successful, inventive programs. We have also attached minutes from the webinar presentations and discussion, which explored diverse topics including experiential education and learning with the students (you don’t have to know everything about food growing before starting!), making connections with school administration and staff to implement and maintain the projects, the benefits and challenges of working with Community Supported Agriculture, and of course, impacts on students’ attendance and engagement along with strategies to increase positive impacts. The discussion returned to the importance of food literacy education being central to the success of programs designed to support local food.

During the conversation, there were also examples of ways that teachers and schools are working with local health units as well as community organizations to grow their program. For example, SCVI worked with Thunder Bay Public Health Unit to have health inspectors come into the class to teach the kids the food safety curriculum. The students were tested and those who passed earned their certificate. A similar food handlers’ certification program is run at HSSS.

Watch the recording or check out these detailed minutes to find out about the teachers’ strategies for sustainable projects, and hear about some of students’ favourite recipes and “the best field trip ever!”

Thank you to the webinar participants for tuning in and asking so many excellent questions. As previously mentioned, this webinar was the first of two. Stay tuned for the second webinar that will discuss the conclusions and implications of the local food pilot projects that have taken place in Durham, Peel, and Thunder Bay over the 2014/2015 school year.

Additional Resources

Classroom-Connects-ecosource-2015Classroom Connects

A lesson plan package specifically about local food spanning 5 high school subject areas. Access it from the Ecosource website along with other tools: ecosource.ca/about-us/publications/

Dandelion Fritters Lab

A teaching recipe resource featured in the webinar discussion: Dandelion Fritters