Local Education to Promote a Healthy Lifestyle

Thursday Apr. 1st, 2010

Susan Floerchinger

Gallatin Valley Farm-to-School program will be offering two free, half-day workshops for a total of eight renewal credits when completing both Elementary Educator’s Workshops on April 9. Starting at 8 am, educators will gather at the Emily Dickinson School Library for the first workshop, “Where Does Your Food Come From?” taught by MOSS. Activities from planting seeds to following it throughout history and its cultural significances are some of the Farm-to-School curriculum integration that will be explored and practiced. This workshop will last until noon, where educators will be on their own for lunch until 1 pm. Upon completing this workshop, educators will earn four renewal or continuing education credits. In the afternoon, educators will return to the Emily Dickinson School Library to learn more about establishing and utilizing outdoor spaces as living laboratories.

Irving Elementary recently created a garden space with edible landscape and will serve as the model for identifying, planning, and utilizing existing outdoor spaces in local education. The Irving School’s Garden Space will be more closely examined in the May’s Edition of this Magazine. This workshop with be presented by the founder and creator of Learn By Nature‘s Outdoor Spaces/School Garden workshop, Bobbi Jo Geise.

Gallatin Valley Farm-to-School workshops are funded through a Delta Kappa Gamma Education Foundation Grant. Some of the other ways the Gallatin Valley Farm to School program has been intergrated in the Bozeman school system since its conception in February 2007 are edible landscapes, to be introduced into the new elementary school Hyalite, Bozeman schools continued participation in farm tours such as the one at Rocky Creek Farm, the garden utilized by the teachers at Emily Dickinson Elementary, and the schools use place based elements within their teaching standards. Hopa Mountain is Gallatin Valley Farm to School’s fiscal sponsor, a Bozeman nonprofit that invests in citizen leaders who are working to improve education, ecological health, and economic development in their home communities. To learn more about Hopa Mountain or to make a donation, visit their website at http://www.hopamountain.org.

The Gallatin Valley Farm-to-School program features Montana grown food in school cafeterias when possible from local farmers and ranchers. They also offer education on where our food comes from, what types of foods are grown in Montana and how they can be a part of a healthy diet, including how food choices affect the broader community. The program also works to add this information into local school curriculums so that students are better informed on the impact their eating choices play on their long-term physical well being and environmental effects.

If you would like to participate in the Gallatin Valley Farm-to-School workshops please contact Aubree Durfey at (406) 581-8209 or Aubree@gvfarmtoschool.org to register.