I have received many warm “welcome backs” at Central during this exciting back to school time! I can’t quite express in words how gratifying it is to do service in a community that is so close to my heart. It truly means so much to me.
I graduated from Central in 2012, and am so happy to be back doing my second year of FoodCorps service. I have a unique position this year as I continue my Early Childhood pilot position. I will be serving part-time at Central, and I will also be traveling to four other Head Start sites throughout Northeast Iowa. I am happy to continue work with Early Childhood at Decorah, Cresco, Monona, and Guttenberg Head Starts.
At Central I will be engaged with their Walking School Bus, School Garden, Garden and Cooking Clubs, as well as some community partnerships like the local library. I also have the goal of being an active presence in the School Cafeteria by doing cafeteria coaching, serving on the line, helping with local food procurement and promotion, and taste tests not only in the cafeteria but in the classrooms as well.
One of my main focuses will be teaching hands-on lessons in the classrooms. I also hope to offer some opportunities for outdoor educational lessons throughout the school year. I’ll be teaching in Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade classrooms at Central. These Early Childhood lessons will be centered around growing, cooking, and tasting new foods with connections to STEAM and core curriculum. I am excited to continue utilizing the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative’s Early Education Curriculum. Within the curriculum, a Harvest of the Month food is featured and celebrated each month. This year we will be exploring the following foods that can be locally sourced: Melons, Broccoli, Dry Beans, Carrots, Milk, Beef, Wheat and Honey, Peppers, and Spinach.
I can’t wait to continue growing healthy kids together with my communities! Look forward to many more fun stories, photos, and blogs of how kids are being connected to healthy food in schools!