BOONE—Appalachian State University and Lettuce Learn are offering a series of four-hour workshops to help educators incorporate gardening into their curriculum. From 1-5 p.m. Sept. 26, Lettuce Learn, Appalachian’s Mathematics and Science Education Center and Goodnight Family Sustainable Development Department will host “Local Food Systems 101,” the first of four “Lettuce Learn Garden SMARTs” workshops at a local small-scale family farm in Zionville.
The goal is to bring teachers to local farms in order to immerse them into the benefits and basics of locally based food systems and garden-based education as well as provide opportunities to design and practice garden-based lesson ideas.
The founder and director of Lettuce Learn, Courtney Baines Smith, said, “Gardens can serve as a platform to teach a variety of important academic lessons from math, science, language arts, social studies, nutrition and art to broader goals such as sustainability education, holistic and systems thinking, teamwork, patience, food system complexities, and community citizenship.”
The first training will be held at Against the Grain farm in Zionville just outside Boone and will feature three different stations: meet and learn from the farm owners, farm-to-plate nutrition skills with extension agent Margie Mansure, and garden-based curriculum connections with Smith.
The September training will focus on the importance of local food systems and how garden-based nutrition education fits into that system. Additional trainings in the “Lettuce Learn Garden SMARTS series include: Planning Your School Garden (February 2016), Planting Your School Garden (April 2016) and Harvesting Your Garden (July 2016).
Pre-registration is required and is open to informal and formal educators who work with children in preschool to middle school. The cost is $15 and includes farm-fresh heavy hor d’oeurves made by graduate nutrition students. CEU credits are provided by the Mathematics and Science Education Center. Other sponsors of this event include Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture’s CRAFT, Watauga County Cooperative Extension, Appalachian’s Research Institute for Environment, Energy, and Economics and the Goodnight Family Sustainable Development Department in honor of Mazie Jones Levenson.
To register or learn more about the event, visit http://www.lettucelearn.org.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
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