Close to 150 people attended the annual Farm to School Spring Celebration hosted at Xpey' Elementary School at the end of May. The program brings healthy, local food into schools and provides students with hands-on learning opportunities.
This year's festivities honoured the work of nine schools in the Vancouver School District that participated in the Indigenous Foodscapes pilot project; which sets out to bring native plants and traditional knowledge into the minds, hearts and bellies of children and youth. The schools built Indigenous food spaces on their grounds and integrated related learning into the curriculum through workshops, field trips, and other activities.
Guests dined on delicious local food lovingly prepared by Wet`suwet`en chef Marlene Hale. They also toured Xpey' Elementary's native plant garden and visited community organizations supporting the integration of native plants and traditional wisdom into classrooms across Vancouver. Teachers took native plants back to their school gardens, created art out of plant material, and explored some of the resources available to support nature and plant-based learning.
At the end of the evening, the second annual Pollinator Award was presented to Thunderbird Elementary's team for exemplifying the three Farm to School pillars: healthy, local food in the bellies of students; hands-on experiential learning in the garden, kitchen or community; and school and community connectedness.
Find out more about the Farm to School program, administered by the Public Health Association of BC.