WELLNESS AND NUTRITION POLICIES:
Creating a healthier learning environment is a critical component of our mission to promote self-directed experiential learning, independent inquiry, and purpose-driven problem solving. Over the past fifteen years, our school gardens, our student kitchen experience, and our community outreach programs, have emboldened children to take healthy eating habits into their own hands and learn the skills necessary for growing healthy communities.
Our goal has been to encourage students to be conscious of their place in the food chain and learn about the sustainable processes by which food can be grown, produced, sold and consumed. Garden Director Jared Martin and science teacher Jayne Woodward have worked with the culinary team headed by Stephanie Woodward to integrate four major hands-on opportunities to learn about food, agriculture, and nutrition: planting school gardens, preparing school lunch, taking school field trips, and reaching out to the community through the Summer Feeding Program in Springfield.
FARM TO SCHOOL PROGRAM:
Awarded a Farm-to-School Grant IN 2020 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Nightingale Montessori uses its newly renovated school campus at 2525 North Limestone Street to pilot a living laboratory for hosting community Farm-to-School workshops. The idea of the grant is to bring more locally sourced food into school cafeterias – particularly in districts that have become urban food deserts – and to integrate agriculture and nutrition education into the standard curriculum. This grant opportunity aligns perfectly with Nightingale’s widening focus on the hands-on Edible Schoolyard experience, encouraging children to take healthy eating habits into their own hands and learn the skills necessary for growing healthy communities.