CLF gives grants to 10 Md. teachers for food curriculum

The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future has announced the recipients of its Teaching the Food System Grants for Educators program awards. Grants of up to $2,000 were awarded to 10 Maryland high school teachers to enable them to conduct innovative education activities and become early adopters of CLF's newly developed Teaching the Food System curriculum. Created by experienced educators and content experts, the curriculum emphasizes the relationships among food, public health, diet, and the environment, and is available online at no cost to all educators.

The grants will help facilitate the integration into Maryland classrooms of the curriculum's 11 educational modules, which span multiple subjects, including environmental science, biology, and social studies. The funding will enable teachers to implement innovative activities that build upon the curriculum and provide students greater opportunities to apply what they learn. All grant awardees will introduce and evaluate three or more modules of the curriculum over the course of this school year.

"The curriculum is the product of a multiyear collaboration, so knowing that these modules will be in a diverse mix of public school classrooms this fall is thrilling," says Robert S. Lawrence, director of CLF.

Among the projects planned:

  • Dairy farmer turned teacher Ruth Chamelin of Westminster High School in Carroll County will construct a goat shed with her Animal Care/Vet Science class.
  • Bonita Curtis of Fairmont Heights High School in Prince George's County will lead field trips to a farm and to a meat-packing plant.
  • After field trips to Springfield Farm and the Utz Factory, Andrew Matschiner of Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County will use algebra concepts to help his students understand nutrition information and make predictions about food shortages and droughts.
  • At Baltimore Montessori Public Charter Middle School in Baltimore City, a micro-economy will be created by Christina Soares' students, who will grow, harvest, and can products and who will power the equipment with a stationary bicycle.

Teaching the Food System is a free, downloadable curriculum available to all high school and college educators. Slides, handouts, vocabulary builders, and other supplemental materials, all of which are included, can help educators deliver lessons with reduced preparation time. The 11 modules can be taught in any order, either independently or as part of a series.