Nourish California to Increase Food Literacy:
New Educational Initiative Builds Statewide Network to Inspire Healthy Schools and Communities
BY WORLDLINK STAFF | April 11, 2011
The Nourish initiative (www.nourishlife.org) launched a bold, new educational program designed to increase food literacy and build healthy communities throughout California. With the goal of serving thousands of K-12 teachers and more than 1 million students, Nourish California aims to be the largest food literacy initiative in the state’s history.
At a time when many public schools face financial challenges, Nourish California offers free educational resources to support teaching and learning. The materials include the award-winning Nourish: Food + Community PBS special, a media-rich website, a standards-based curriculum guide, and short documentary videos. The initiative is also contributing to ongoing teacher seminars and youth summits across the state.
“Food literacy means understanding the story of our food, from farm to table and back to the soil,” said Kirk Bergstrom, executive director of WorldLink, the nonprofit organization leading the initiative. “Our vision is to build a network of food-literate teachers and students who can directly contribute to the health of their schools and communities.”
To maximize public engagement, Nourish is collaborating with more than 50 organizations from the nonprofit, business, and government sectors. Participants include the California Farm to School Network, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for Ecoliteracy, San Diego Unified School District, and Slow Food USA.
“Nourish California is truly a gift to teachers, students, and parents,” said Nikki Henderson, executive director of the Oakland-based nonprofit organization People’s Grocery. “The legacy of this initiative will be a statewide network of good food advocates, ready to participate in creating a healthy, sustainable food culture.”
Nourish California offers an array of multimedia resources to engage educators and students in a meaningful conversation about food and sustainability. Through innovative learning activities and community action projects, Nourish California provides a big-picture view that connects food to such issues as public health, climate change, environmental protection, and social justice.
The Nourish Curriculum Guide, developed by the Center for Ecoliteracy, serves middle-school science, social science, health, and English classes. Aligned with state and national content standards, the curriculum gives students opportunities to reflect on current food practices and explore more sustainable ones.
The curriculum guide is based on the PBS special Nourish: Food + Community, which will be rebroadcast nationwide this spring. A Nourish DVD and companion website feature interviews with best-selling author Michael Pollan, sustainable food advocate Anna Lappé, chef Bryant Terry, pediatrician Dr. Nadine Burke, farmer Nigel Walker, and chef Jamie Oliver.
The curriculum is available for free download on the Nourish website, www.nourishlife.org. California’s K-12 teachers, school administrators, farm-to-school and garden coordinators, food service staff members, health professionals, environmental educators, and nonprofit support providers are eligible for a free DVD when they register online.
Nourish is a program of WorldLink, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization dedicated to education for sustainability.
View the curriculum, Nourish DVD trailer, and short films at: www.nourishlife.org
Watch the Nourish California web video at: www.nourishlife.org/california
Access press materials at: www.nourishlife.org/press
Nourish is an educational initiative designed to open a meaningful conversation about food and sustainability, particularly in schools and communities. Visit www.nourishlife.org. Follow Nourish on Twitter at @Nourish_Life.
WorldLink is a nonprofit organization that designs media, education, and civic engagement programs that encourage individuals and groups to actively participate in creating a sustainable future. Visit www.goworldlink.org.
Brie Mazurek, WorldLink