Family and Consumer Education at Greendale High School, Wisconsin

GreendaleFamily and Consumer Education teacher Kayla Slaasted uses the Nourish curriculum to foster food literacy in her classrooms and in her community through student activities, an annual expo, and a pop-up restaurant.

I first learned about the Nourish initiative at the University of Wisconsin-Madison when I was earning my bachelors degree. The entire campus read In Defense of Food and we discussed the text in all of our classes. I was intrigued by the book and excited about the promise of the food movement. I knew I wanted to bring these themes to the school where I received my first teaching position, Greendale High School near Milwaukee.

Last year, Greendale held its first Nourish Expo where we invited local green businesses to set up informational booths in our cafeteria. Community members who attended the event went from booth to booth to purchase products and learn about different services available to promote sustainable living. We also had the Nourish: Food + Community DVD playing in the background the entire day.

This year, my Culinary Arts students will manage their own restaurant at the Expo. Our goal is that at least 80 percent of the food we use for the restaurant will come from within 150-mile radius of the school, much like Cafe 150 that is profiled in the Connections story on the Nourish DVD.

I also show the Nourish video in my Contemporary Foods classroom. After viewing, I invite my students to calculate their carbon footprint at myfootprint.org. Then, we form small groups and the students complete the Nourish Action Project. Each group comes up with strategies to reduce their carbon footprint together. Students document the entire process and then they screen their own videos for the class as a final exhibition.

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