On Tuesday, June 14, Greensboro Montessori School welcomed a group of regional leaders who work in conjunction with the national nonprofit known as FoodCorps. FoodCorps is a nationwide team of AmeriCorps leaders who specialize in connecting kids to healthy food in school by providing nutrition education, hands-on activities like gardening and cooking, and access to school lunches filled with nutritious foods from local farms.
“Thousands of young Americans have dedicated themselves to reforming the food chain, from field to table, and of all the programs that have emerged to channel that energy and idealism, FoodCorps is the most inspiring.” – Michael Pollan (Featured Speaker in the 2016-17 Bryan Series sponsored by Guilford College)
The participants, who direct FoodCorps programs locally and regionally all over the state of North Carolina, conducted a day long retreat on our campus. Cooperative Extension directors from Guilford and Warren counties, nonprofit leaders from the Sandhills to Wilmington, and public school representatives from Cherokee, Scotland, and Wake Counties were in attendance. GMS Environmental Education teachers, Eliza Hudson and Jenny Kimmel, and Admissions Director, Rhea Egbert, led them all on an inspiring tour of the three expansive garden spaces on our 10-acre campus (for Primary, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary/Middle School).
Did you know that 2017 will mark the 20th anniversary of Greensboro Montessori School’s permaculture gardening program? Many of last week’s FoodCorps visitors are just starting school gardens or managing programs that are young compared to ours, and we were honored and thrilled to share our experience, expertise and leadership in this area. We’re even more excited to learn there is a growing number of school gardening and Farm to School programs popping up in Guilford County and throughout the state.
We are proud to be a pioneer in environmental education programming. Our gardens have a lot to offer not only our own families, but also the wider community. What a joy to share the philosophies of both Montessori and permaculture gardening with these visitors! Our hope is to inspire and encourage child-driven work around the state with this visit.
On behalf of the School and my teammates, thank you for your support of our gardens over the years and for allowing us to nurture each child’s relationship to the natural world. It gives us great pleasure to share what we’ve learned over the years because of your generosity.
To learn more about the history of the Greensboro Montessori School gardens, check out our blog on our School Within a Garden page
To learn more about FoodCorps (and their work here in Guilford County!), check out www.foodcorps.org.