New Roots Charter School Announces Sustainable Agriculture & Food Certificate Program
Category: The Big Picture

New Roots Charter School Announces Sustainable Agriculture & Food Certificate Program

Press release from New Roots Charter School:

New Roots is excited to announce an opportunity unlike no other for our current and prospective high school students interested in sustainable food systems — to enroll in a distinctive certificate program that will prepare them for a college degree and career in the growing Farm-to-Table field.

Students enrolled in the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Certificate program will have the opportunity to gain experience through internships at local farms, restaurants, and other local food enterprises. They will be given the opportunity to visit farms and learn directly from farmers about the science and business of agriculture. Students will also have a range of culinary arts experiences focusing on the connections between the farm, the food, and the table.

Students will be required to maintain above average grades in their core classes including English, Social Studies, and Science. Upon successful completion of all requirements, they will receive a unique honors designation with their high school diploma.

Required electives will include Cafe, Culinary Arts, Foodshed Studies, Sustainable Entrepreneurship, and Ecological Design. “Students enrolled in this program will play a significant role in the planning and preparation of healthy school lunches,” says Allyn Rosenbaum, Farm to School Coordinator.  “They will also gain catering and restaurant experience.”  Students will develop portfolios that demonstrate their learning about how cooking, farming,  food distribution and processing have developed throughout history. Food insecurity, poor nutrition, ecological degradation, the history of agriculture, and the social causes of hunger and nutrition are some of the various topics that students will be immersed in.

“Our school’s community-based learning creates many opportunities for young people to learn and interact with innovative farms, restaurants, and businesses that many other high schools do not offer,” say New Roots adjunct teacher and small farmer, Michael Burns. Burns also described how the program’s design is integrated into the basic, required classes for graduation, “instilling traditional classes such as math, science and even art with a relevance especially for those interested in agriculture and the culinary arts.“

Students interested in attending New Roots Charter School and joining this distinctive Sustainable Food & Agriculture Certificate program are encouraged to contact the school before the start of the school year in September. New Roots is an innovative, hands-on, community-based, tuition-free charter school open to all high school age students in Tompkins and surrounding counties.

Image courtesy of New Roots Charter School

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