Consider calling your local county or university based Cooperative Extension office for reliable, research based resources and strategies to assist you in your plans to create a healthy school environment. It could be your one-stop for working on improving healthy environments in schools. Access this USDA website to locate the office nearest you.
Here are a few ways Cooperative Extension can be helpful:
- Locate and connect with local farmers interested in supplying and working with schools
- Gain access to agriculture in the classroom resources
- Get guidance and expertise in planning and maintaining a school garden
- Learn about gardening lesson plans and curricula for different grade levels that align with school standards
- Get guidance and expertise on composting and gardening
- Find out about how to put your school district’s profile on the Market Maker website to match food service needs with farmers’ supply
- Access nutrition educators to implement interactive, skill based healthy lifestyle education opportunities with youth
- Find out how to start a 4-H club in your school or after-school program
- Organize a healthy lifestyle workshop, demonstration or series for parents
- Assist with new recipes, taste tests, lunchroom design, food service training
If the resources or program you need is not available through your local Cooperative Extension, an educator should be able to link you to other resources. Make Cooperative Extension your first stop in supporting your work in improving healthy food choices in schools.
Mary Lee Bourbeau, Nutrition Team Coordinator at CCE of Wayne County