This year our Lower School began an exciting interdisciplinary program, Seed to Table, which encourages students to develop meaningful connections with the world around them through the exploration of food and natural communities. Food is a natural, and in many ways a perfect, medium through which to embark on this exploration, opening up such topics such as environmental literacy, culture, health, nutrition, history, and creativity. Using GFA’s beautiful organic garden as a classroom, students are fully engaged in hands-on experiential learning. As well as science, Seed to Table has numerous implications, and teachers are eagerly helping to integrate with math, history and English. Fifth grade has begun partnering with an international school in Vietnam discussing food, sourcing, transportation, and the differences between the two cultures.
Such a program instills and nurtures life long learning and responsibility towards our environment. It also establishes habits of mind, using 21st century skills of collaboration, creativity, problem solving, curiosity, and imagination. Just watch our Lower School volunteers weeding, watering, and harvesting kale, only to have it show up in the cafeteria for lunch. Watch them on a field trip to a local grocery store discovering where in the world the produce was grown and how many miles it traveled to get there. Our Lower School students will surely be citizens of the world, who also support local food systems.