STATEWIDE “FARM TO SCHOOL AWARD” GIVEN TO SCHOOL ON CHICAGO’S INDUSTRIAL SOUTHWEST SIDE
In honor of Farm to School month, the Illinois Farm to School Network has selected the Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) as the first ever recipient of the “Farm to School Award,” an award given to the school that exemplifies the principles of Farm to School. The objectives of the Farm to School initiative are to serve healthy meals in school cafeterias, improve student nutrition, provide agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities, and support local and regional farmers.
The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) is a small single-site charter school with an international mission. The school’s 300 students practice daily yoga, learn a second or third language starting in Kindergarten and participate in a rigorous authorized International Baccalaureate program, with 86% of students meeting or exceeding grade level standards. 75% of students live in the surrounding neighborhoods, 79% are low-income, 89% are of minority ethnicity.
The school’s chef, who is also a proud AGC parent, prepares organic breakfast and lunch from scratch in a zero-waste cafeteria. By first grade, students are accustomed to seeing compost, recycling and landfill trash bins in every room. The school serves local products whenever possible in their 100% organic food program and maintains close relationships with their farmers. AGC students learn from and visit local farms that supply AGC’s meal program.
The students at the AGC are organic farmers too. The asphalt parking lot in front of the Academy for Global Citizenship comes alive with raised garden beds, a demonstration wind turbine, a solar paneled outdoor classroom, three schoolyard chickens and a greenhouse full of vegetables. Students study math, science as well as sustainable living and nutrition within the context of their outdoor learning laboratory.
The Academy for Global Citizenship invites press, community members and fellow educators to join them this Tuesday, October 30th at 4647 West 47th St. to discuss their Farm to School initiatives. Director of Sustainability, Dan Schnitzer, will speak the program’s multi-pronged approach, including the direct relationship with farmers, purchasing from local farms, and curriculum integration. The Academy for Global Citizenship’s first grade class will present as part of their farm-to-table unit.
“We are honored by this award,” said Schnitzer, “and thrilled to have the USDA and Farm to School as partners in our mission. We hope to inspire others to bring Farm to School initiatives into their schools.”
For more information about this event, contact Sarah Elizabeth Ippel at 773.744.8729.
Learn more about the school at www.agcchicago.org
Read about AGC’s organic food initiatives in the USDA’s Organic Integrity Quarterly http://1.usa.gov/RgQKUF