Nasturtium is a colorful and safe addition to a preschool garden: every part of the plant, from seed to leaf to flower, is edible!
Photo courtesy: Shawn Linehan

In this issue:
  • National Association of Family Child Care Conference, July 18-20, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Book recommendation: Do Lions Like Lettuce?
  • Case study: Strong partnerships support Farm to Preschool in Kansas City

Farm to Preschool at the National Association of Family Child Care Conference, July 18-20

This June, we'll be talking specifically about Farm to Preschool in family child care settings at the National Association for Family Child Care's 2013 Conference, “Building Relationships that Last a Lifetime” in Scottsdale, Arizona. "Farm to Preschool: Growing Communities" will be presented in both English and Spanish. The early bird deadline for conference registration is June 8th.

Learn more and register here.

Book Recommendation: Do Lions Like Lettuce?

A perfect pairing with spring greens, Do Lions Like Lettuce?, by Moira Butterfield, illustrated by Sonia Canals, encourages children to guess which animals eat lettuce, fish, bananas, and more in this lift-the-flap guessing book.

The YMCA Farm to School Program: A Collaboration Between Bistro Kids and Good Natured Family Farms

An innovative partnership out of Kansas City is setting the example when it comes to scaling up Farm to Preschool programming. Food service provider Bistro Kids and family farm alliance Good Natured Family Farms have been working together since 2006. The partners share a joint mission of serving as many students as possible locally sourced, healthy, all natural meals, and impacting vulnerable families through nutrition education and community outreach. Recently, these efforts expanded to the Head Start and early education settings, where Bistro Kids services over 3,000 meals per day through the YMCA.

For many children, this might be the most nutrient-rich daily meal they receive, and over 40 percent of those meal ingredients are sourced right from local farms. Good Natured Family Farms represents over 160 family farmers, and with the support of Ball Foods and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, is able to provide complimentary teacher trainings, farmer's tables, food for parents and families, and in-class lessons such as cooking and gardening.

Program evaluation is being conducted by the University of Kansas Medical Center, in order to better understand this program's impact on food consumption, behavioral changes, student acceptance, and family outreach. Initial findings demonstrate the importance of support from school administrators, food service staff, and teachers to deliver each component of the program effectively. Support and training of staff has been key to this partnership's success.

To learn more about this partnership and about Good Natured Family Farms, watch an overview of their work here.

Don't forget!

Visit our website for tons of Farm to Preschool resources and information. You can also submit your own events, news, or materials: farmtopreschool.org

 

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