Cullowhee Valley School has been awarded certification as a Growing Minds School from the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) in Asheville. The younger students at Cullowhee Valley School have been participating in Farm to School activities for the past four years with the help from an ASAP grant and WCU students and faculty. We are currently excited about continuing our gardening and cooking activities through and evolving and unique partnership with Western Carolina University.
WCU students from both the Education and Nutrition programs are volunteering their time to help all eight kindergarten and first grade classes with cooking and gardening lessons, along with monthly taste tests of local produce in the cafeteria. By participating in this program, our future teachers and health professionals from WCU are becoming equipped to integrate local food and “Farm to School” into their lives and future jobs.
The Growing Minds Program is a wonderful way to connect children to the source of their food, and for blending the education and health of our students together. Children learn best through hands-on experiences and it’s a fun way to meet the goals of our Common Core Goals.
If you would like to “dig in” and learn more about cooking and gardening with children, please visit ASAP’s website at: growing-minds.org. You will find free lesson plans, local food recipes, children’s literature connections, teaching videos and much more! To learn more about our partnership with WCU, see http://farmtoschool.wcu.edu.