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What’s Growing On? August 2020 News from Grow Southcoast

Teachers are integral to the success of the Grow Education program.

by: Adam Davenport, Grow Education Manager

August is prime growing season for Southcoast farmers and Grow Education is tending our own gardens as well.  Though we are not bent over with the sun beating down on us—cultivating hundreds of feet of vegetables—we are working hard to groom our next phase of programming with New Bedford Public Schools (NBPS).

This August we will be hosting our first ever professional development workshop for NBPS teachers!  This workshop is the first part of our year-long program supporting this year’s cohort of six elementary schools.  The programming at this workshop (led by our awesome curriculum consultant, Katie) will center around using the school gardens as outdoor classrooms for experiential and project-based learning.  Of course, the lessons will be aligned with the Farm to School project, ripe with lessons on how fresh, local foods can support our regional food security and the health of our students!  We are excited to offer this workshop at a working farm (Round the Bend in South Dartmouth, MA), and serve the teachers quality and fresh lunch and snacks – similar to what we are working towards in the school cafeterias!

As we mentioned in past updates, the Marion Institute was lucky to receive approval for two Food Corps members for the upcoming school year!  Last month, we introduced you to Keri Cusson, one of the FoodCorps members that will work with our partnered elementary schools to co-teach classroom lessons on agriculture, nutrition and healthy lifestyles, support kids to eat healthy foods in the cafeterias, and build a culture of health across the district.

This month, I’d like to introduce you to our second FoodCorps member, Mikaela Thiboutot, an experienced educator who served as a Food Corps member at Springfield Public Schools last year.  We are excited to leverage her experiences in Springfield as we support NBPS this upcoming year. Learn a little more about Mikaela below and be on the look-out for more from our FoodCorps Team Members as the school year progresses.

Mikaela Thiboutot 

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Rehoboth, MA.

What got you interested in food education?
I love working with kids, and community health has been my passion since studying nutrition at UMass Amherst.

What do you hope to accomplish during your term?
During my service year, I hope to add infrastructure to the Grow Education program and strengthen the New Bedford Public Schools’ connection to local food.

What do you hope to gain from this experience?
Throughout the year, I’m hoping to get to know the New Bedford community. I’m looking forward to making connections and building relationships in the area.

What’s your favorite vegetable?
My favorite vegetables are broccoli and parsnips :)

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