The following post was written by guest blogger Susan Rigg, Slow Food South Texas Chapter President. I’ll bet you’re not thinking about school campuses right now. Why would you? It’s summer, right?
Well, Slow Food is thinking about our two school campuses and how we can improve our programs for next year. Some of you may not have heard, but the San Antonio ISD Foundation has awarded funds to our two schools to support our endeavors in the garden. We will be working in partnership with them to make sure the students have another great year of learning about good, clean, and fair food.
Last school year, Slow Food South Texas reached over 450 students each week or every other week with our School Garden Project. At Lamar Elementary, we taught every grade level from Pre-K to 5th, and we were at the school teaching full days every other Monday from October until March (when state testing kicked in). At Bonham Academy, we started our garden project in January and taught at the school every Thursday morning until the end of the school year reaching all of the students from Pre-K to second grade.
The response from the students was very positive, and it was a joy for me to show up in my Slow Food t-shirt and be greeted with, “Yay! It’s Slow Food day!” as I traveled the hallways. There is nothing quite like the excitement of a child who sees the inside of an artichoke for the first time, or sees how water can go directly from a solid to a gas when we studied the water cycle and brought dry ice for show and tell!
Next year, due to our SAISD grant we will be able to take our students on a couple of field trips out to some of the local farms. We have made such great partnerships with our South Texas farmer’s who are eager to show young people what farm life is like. So if you’d like to join the fun, come and see us at The Pearl Farmer’s Market every other Saturday, or contact us through the website at www.slowfoodsouthtexas.org.
Teaching children about the importance of healthy food is central to our purpose at Slow Food, but more importantly, we need to make fresh food fun for kids so they can grow up to make healthier choices.