Bell View Elementary Students to Experience Farm Field Day
Oct 04, 2016 03:28PM
● By Julie Slama
By Julie Slama | [email protected]
Bell View Elementary students may have the opportunity to pet a goat or sample some local produce at their upcoming Farm Field Day.
“We want our students to know what they’re eating, how it’s grown and the process of it from the farm to their dinner table,” Principal Chanci Loran said.
Farm Field Day, which is being held Oct. 5, will bring local farmers, organizations and others who have a united interest in educating students about nutrition and farming. The 360 first- through fifth-grade students will learn about planting, different kinds of seeds and how they are harvested, and gain a better understanding of what they’re eating, Loran said.
“The kids need to become aware of the agriculture industry so they know how it shows up in the grocery store,” she said.
Supreet Gill, Salt Lake County urban farming program manager, said the fair gives students an introduction to agriculture.
“We don’t have that many farmers in Utah and fewer students are aware of the agriculture career, so this is a way to raise their curiosity and interest in growing food more than just knowing they’re eating to fill their bellies,” Gill said.
At other Farm Field Day events, there have been booths where students try to identify seeds to fruits, learn food portion sizes, learn why hawks are important to farming, have the opportunity to see farm animals and learn about food appreciation and safety. Students also have learned about local farming and sampled local produce. A favorite activity, Gill said, is when students at other events discover how healthy eating benefits their body versus learning how much sugar is in our food, such as soda pop, and how that doesn’t help their bodies.
While each activity differs as the seasons change, Gill said the goal is constant in educating students and giving them an appreciation of farming and agriculture. She also provides teachers with classroom materials that can introduce the event as well as reinforce and extend what they learned in the classroom that ties into the state core curriculum.
As part of the Salt Lake County Urban Farming Program, Farm Field Day travels to several districts throughout the Salt Lake Valley. This is Canyons School District’s first time hosting the activity.
Canyons School District Dietician Emily Jenkins said she hopes this will translate into students trying to grow items at home.
“With a greater appreciation and knowledge of where food is coming from, we’re hoping students are more likely to try eating it,” she said.
With a federal grant, six Canyons School District schools, including Bell View, participate in the fresh fruit and vegetable program that gives students a snack in the classroom twice each week.
“We try to provide some variety, including exotic fruit like star fruit, that they may not have the opportunity to try otherwise. If we provide a greater variety, they may find something they like that they didn’t know they did before instead of saying, ‘I don’t like fruit,’” Jenkins said. “We want students to try new things, try to eat locally and try to be healthy.”