FRESHFARM's food education program in partnership with DC Public Schools

FoodPrints is an education project of FRESHFARM that integrates gardening, cooking, and nutrition education into the curriculum at partner elementary schools. Watch the FoodPrints video to see our program in action. 

F is for FoodPrints - A Guest Post by Victoria Willis

There are many things first graders can get upset about, but in my class the biggest disappointment comes when they find out it isn't our day to have FoodPrints. There are so many reasons my students love FoodPrints and I would like to share a few. 

I see the difference that comes from having students learn in small groups, experiencing cooking and learning hands on. They gain a deeper understanding of the concepts and become connected to them. I recently overheard two students discussing how important it was to remember to feed our worms in our classroom bin because they were going to poop and give us good food to feed our plants so we could eat good food during our next lesson. I love that students are able to see how our actions affect the food we eat. In fact, my students have become the garden 'protectors'- telling their peers to keep their feet out of the garden beds, regularly helping to weed and water, and pointing out how things are changing over time.

Out of any activities I've tried to get parent volunteers for, it's FoodPrints that gets them into the classrooms. I've had parents that have never come to parent teacher conferences, but they show up to help cook.

FoodPrints is an amazing program that promotes healthy habits in my students' lives in and out of the classroom. Students are excited to cook, but equally excited to get the recipe to take home and try it with their families. You know it has made an impact when a student randomly blurts out that he is really hungry and would really like a bowl of butternut squash and apple soup. Even still, he waits, as we've learned, until we can all take our first bite together.

- Written by Victoria Willis, a first grade teacher and guardian of the FoodPrints GrowLab at Tyler Elementary.