The Power of NourishEd At One Partner District
The Upland Unified School District in California is located 40 miles east of Los Angeles, with 38.8% of its students identifying as Hispanic or Latinx. 56.8% of students in the school district currently receive free or reduced lunch. The district’s Farm to School Manager, Cassidy Furnari, created a unique event with the support of Action for Healthy Kids’ NourishEd grant. Cassidy put together a Farm to School Field Day for schools around her district, in which hundreds of students moved through various stations in what felt like a field trip in their own school.
Students shopped at a farmer’s market put on by Farmer Bob from Old Grove Orange, a group of small crop growers in southern California. Ethel the Cow and Farmer Louie taught students all about cows and the dairy process. They tasted carrot and orange juice using oranges from their very own garden, and made garden art, seed bundles, bookmarks and played Garden Bingo!
When the event was over, Cassidy and her team received thank you letters and cards from students and teachers alike. One teacher from Upland Elementary said,
“Today was so much fun for our students and staff. Thank you so much for coordinating it for our school. They (the presenters) all did a fantastic job, and we learned a lot about cows, fruits, and vegetables.” As Cassidy saw the students and teachers smiling and enjoying the day, she reflected, “It reminded me why we’re doing this.”