Fifth Grade: Food2Share

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Food2Share was originally conceived as a district-wide model since food could be garnered from all school cafeterias. This creates opportunity for daily involvement for all students at all grade levels. The initial setup for the program can be based on information outlined in part one.

When Food2Share was up and running in our schools, a fifth-grade teacher asked for the donation statistics from our food bank for use in a graphing unit for her students. Another fifth-grade teacher suggested that her class could make regular updates to a Food2Share graph and post it in the cafeteria. Fifth grade seemed the logical elementary grade to take the leadership role for Food2Share: teachers identified a curricular connection, students would have participated in the program since kindergarten, and there was not yet a leadership service learning role for fifth grade.

Service Learning Outline:

Preparation

As fifth graders take on this new leadership role, they learn more about the history of the project and support materials that make the project viable. They meet with the director of a food bank to discuss the project and learn more about the work of the food bank and food insecurity in their community.

Action

Fifth graders create graphs that incorporate current information from the food bank and previous statistics graphed by former fifth graders.

Reflection

Prior to this leadership role, students have participated in the program and heard their peers and food bank staffers describe the project in assemblies. Such student involvement over a period of years allows for reflection in greater depth on food insecurity—how it relates to the overall health of their communities, how it has intersected with their lives, and how it affects their sister city.

Celebration

Project outcomes are updated and shared publicly each month in graphs that track donations to date. Yearly assemblies further celebrate project success and address ongoing goals.

Disciplines Incorporated

  • Mathematics
  • Language Arts
  • Health

Expansion

Project topics from schools in my database include:

  • Early-age whole foods exploration
  • Gardening
  • School markets
  • Garden harvested food products
  • Cooking
  • Salad bars
  • Family-style dining
  • Weekend backpacks
  • Summer lunches

Community involvements include:

  • Gardening
  • Field gleaning
  • Restaurant donations
  • Grocery store donations
  • Mobile meals
  • Pay-what-you-can restaurants
  • Urban fish farming

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Questions? E-mail the author at sandymckane [at] gmail [dot] com.
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