By: Katie Leite, Sophomore, Psychology/Neuroscience, Biology, Global Health
Sienna McNett, Junior, Biology/Neuroscience, Psychology
The SFC Youth Education team aims to teach our community’s youth about agriculture, sustainability, and healthy eating. This year we are focusing on expanding our impact to local schools and educational programs in the Centre County area. Our goal is to organize interactive lessons in and out of the classroom as well as continue our involvement with the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) annual conference “Future Farmers” program.
For our most recent event, we were lucky enough to collaborate with Centre Learning Community Charter School. A teacher looking to educate her 5th and 6th grade students about sustainability in agriculture, food waste, nutrition, local food, and other relevant topics, reached out to us wondering if representatives of the Student Farm could help. As project co-leads, we developed a curriculum that was both informative and also geared towards this age group. The students participated in a two day immersive experience. On the first day they visited the Student Farm with our AmeriCorps member, Katrina Weakland, and on the second day they learned about the topics more in-depth during an interactive class lesson given by the Youth Education team.
By emphasizing hands-on and engaging learning experiences, our team feels that the best way for students to grasp key concepts is to see them first-hand. Tying together concepts about agriculture, diet, and sustainability and how these relate to their daily lives is our way of fostering their interest in these topics and ensuring that they will think about and consider their environmental impacts while carrying out their everyday lives. Watching children become so interested in and curious about these topics has inspired us to further pursue classroom visits and community involvement in the future.