Clayton Ridge Ag in the Classroom

Fresh herbs and cheeses were an unconventional yet exciting part of the educational experience for Eagle Club members at Clayton Ridge Middle School this spring. In February, the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF) awarded 172 grants to schools throughout Iowa to support the integration of agriculture into classroom instruction or after school programs with an academic focus. Two Clayton Ridge classrooms received funding from the foundation, which designs its grants to help teachers initiate new projects or expand existing projects that promote agriculture literacy in students. Grants can be used to fund innovative lessons, activities, classroom resources, guest speakers, outreach programs, field trips, and other projects.

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National AmeriCorps Week!

It’s National AmeriCorps Week!


If you’re not familiar with the AmeriCorps organization, what their members do, or why it matters, I would love to spread the word. Knowledge is power, people! Continue reading

Clayton Ridge HS Forms FFI Youth Team

Clayton Ridge 2014Students at Clayton Ridge High School have formed a Food & Fitness group to help improve the health and wellness of their school and the community at large. Members of the small group will gain knowledge and skills in a variety of areas related to good nutrition, local food systems, and active living, plus processes involved in policy advocacy – and then will communicate their goals and aspirations as they educate fellow students, younger students, school staff, and community members about good nutrition, local food systems, and active living. Continue reading

All Smiles

Like many of the gardens and students that I’ve worked with in my year of service, I too have grown. In fact this year was one of the most influential years in my life. I’ve gained confidence, leadership skills, and a lot of great new recipes. Here with FFI I’ve found my passion for working with school districts and children. I feel as though this year has opened my eyes to goals for my future career. Continue reading


Thanks to the Pepperfield Project, David Cavagnaro provided seeds for all school gardens and planting has begun!  The past few weeks both Clayton Ridge and MFL MarMac first graders began planting.  It was great to finally get our hands dirty and start thinking about spring.  At MFL Mar Mac the high school agriculture class helped the first graders plant and gave them a tour of the greenhouse.  Besides the sprinklers turning on mid tour it was very successful.  Although we all did get a good laugh out of it. Continue reading

The bran, the germ, the endosperm!

Grains grains have been on my brain!  This past week first and third graders at Clayton Ridge learned about whole grains and their healthy benefits.  We explored different kinds of grains and the difference between whole grains and refined grains.  In the third grade we played a fiber relay game.  To do so the class was broken into two teams, each team had to do a variety of exercises to one side of the room and back like lunges, knee lifts..etc. Once they got to one side of the room they had to search through a pile of food labels and pick one they believed was a whole grain.  Once each team had all their food labels we added up the amount of fiber on each team and the team with the most fiber won!  It got them moving, energized, and familiar with the nutrition facts label.  Then of course it wouldn’t be a full lesson without trying some whole grains so then we made some popcorn! YUM YUM. Continue reading