Food Literacy in Nigeria
Springboard, a nonprofit organization in Nigeria, collaborated with the Nourish initiative to design a series of Teacher Institutes.
How do you open a conversation about food literacy and seed a network of teacher practitioners? Springboard, a nonprofit organization based in Nigeria, embraced this challenge by bringing together multiple teacher cohorts for an in-depth professional learning experience.
Working in collaboration with the Nourish initiative, Springboard designed a four-day institute in the states of Ondo and Ekiti. The participating teachers were part of Springboard’s Farm to School program, serving more than 5,000 secondary schools. Farm to School works with educators to build school farms where students grow produce, eat healthy food, nurture plants, and contribute to sustainable food production in their communities.
Each day of the institute was framed by an organizing theme:
- Day One: Sharing Our Stories and Vision
- Day Two: Teaching Food Literacy
- Day Three: Designing a Food Literacy Plan for Our School
- Day Four: Imagining a Food Literacy Plan for Africa
This arc of inquiry and practice led from such activities as Food Traditions to a future vision of “food literacy for all” in Africa. Rich Adeyemi, a Springboard facilitator, underscored the value of the experience: “Our food literacy institutes act as a forum for teachers to reimagine the food system.”
During their time together, participants worked in small groups to explore the meaning of food literacy and develop action plans for their schools. Added Rich, “The process of developing site-level food literacy plans enabled participants to translate their learning into a pathway for school and community transformation.” Each participant was provided a copy of the Nourish Teacher Resource Binder as a take-home resource. The Springboard and Nourish teams also collaborated to create a Student Guide customized to the Nigerian context.
As it looks to the future, Springboard invites each of us to consider these essential questions: “What if every child in Africa had access to a school farm? How would this experience—if woven into the fabric of childhood—influence how young people relate to school and learning, to healthy food, and to their community?
Indeed, what if?