2012 marks the first annual Growing Healthy Schools Week, which is the fusion of DC School Garden Week and DC Farm to School Week. DC School Garden Week was launched in 2007 to celebrate school gardens throughout the District of Columbia. Three years later, DC Farm to School Week was born, providing an opportunity for DC schools to celebrate local, seasonal food in school meals, and engage students in the farm-to-table process. These two celebrations were extremely successful in stimulating more citywide support for and involvement in farm to school and school garden programs. Growing Healthy Schools Week highlights the interrelated goals of these two former weeks and reflects the components of the recent Healthy Schools Act, which encourages linkages between farm to school and school garden programs.
Growing Healthy Schools Week celebrates school gardens and farm to school programs throughout the district. During the week, school staff will work with local non-profits, farms and chefs to coordinate inspiring activities aimed at engaging the broader community, increasing environmental literacy, building program capacity and connecting students to their food.
Schools can coordinate activities that engage students in the process of growing, preparing and eating healthy, local food, and teach them about the connection between food and the environment. We provide resources for schools to:
- Host an interactive chef demonstration
- Have a farmer come to your school
- Visit a nearby urban farm, community garden, or school garden (in DC)
- Take a field trip to a local farm (in VA or MD)
- Incorporate farm/food education into classroom instruction
- Highlight farm-fresh food in school cafeterias through a seasonal recipe or local food in the salad bar each day