Pajaro Valley Unified School District (Farm to School)
Four schools in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District work with Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) on a farm to school program. Alianza Bilingual Immersion Charter School, MacQuiddy Elementary, and Hall District Elementary have had programs for the past year. For the upcoming 2004-2005 school year, CAFF will work with Alianza, MacQuiddy, Freedom Elementary School, and Radcliff Elementary.
The farm to school programs in the Pajaro Valley School District are focused on the fourth grade. These nutrition education programs focus on a school garden to engage students in hands-on educational opportunities allowing them to grow their own fresh fruits and vegetables. The garden becomes an on-site "living laboratory" for teaching a multitude of subjects, especially nutrition. In-class nutrition education related to the garden deepens students' understanding of healthy food choices. Teachers have access not only to the garden for teaching, but also to a plethora of curriculum pertaining to the "5-a-Day" nutrition message.
Outside of the classroom, the cafeteria becomes the place where students put their nutrition education to practical use through healthy eating. The food service director at each school site work closely with CAFF to include more fresh and local produce in the school meal program. Locally grown apples from Silva Orchards are regularly served at unchtime to students.
Other additions to the program are: Farm field trips, which allow children to experience food from its source, and instill an appreciation for local food and farming and, Cooking classes that involve children directly in food preparation and provide tools for families in making healthy meals.
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