At Burgess-Peterson Academy in Atlanta, vegetable-loving children take turns caring for the school’s hens and share in their output of fresh eggs. At Crawford Long Middle School, science teacher Tiarra Moore has commanded an impressive list of grants and awards to build aneducational organic garden and orchard. And at Morningside and Springdale Park elementary schools, students participate in garden-themed science lessons and are treated to cooking demonstrations from visiting chefs.
The “farm to school” movement, which seeks to improve the health of children by creating connections between them and real food, has taken root in Atlanta Public Schools. But many parents, in APS and other metro school districts, hope to extend the movement's reach, incorporating more garden-based lessons into the curricula, serving more Georgia-grown food in cafeterias, building more gardens on school grounds, and creating more ties between local farms and classrooms.
This Saturday, Nov. 3, Georgia Organics and Atlanta Farm to School Coalition, an advocacy group, will lead a workshop for parents interested in launching or expanding farm-to-school programs. During the four-hour event, participants will get an update on farm-to-school initiatives and take part in hands-on sessions focusing on school gardening, cooking with kids, and easy garden lessons. And they’ll get a chance to exchange ideas with other metro-area parents.
“It’s put on by APS parents, but it’s for any parents,” says Erin Croom, Georgia Organics’ farm to school director. “And it’s going to be awesome. Parents are such a critical piece of the farm-to-school movement, but we don’t have a lot of tools and events and networking opportunities just for them.”
The workshop, which will be held at Morningside Elementary School, is $15 per person, with discounts for groups of three or more. It’s open to all parents, regardless of where their children attend school. Register here.