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ERIC Number: EJ1178054
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1559-5676
Understanding School Culture and Its Relation to Farm to School Programming
Cirillo, Jennifer; Morra, Ryan
Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, v42 n1 Spr 2018
Purpose/Objectives: The number of Farm to School (FTS) programs is increasing across the United States. These programs employ a variety of school-based initiatives including, but not limited to, local procurement for the school nutrition program, nutrition education in the classroom, hands-on and garden-based learning, and community partnerships with local farmers. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between school culture and FTS efforts. Methods: For this qualitative research study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten Vermont principals of PK-12 public schools where at least 30% of students received free or reduced-price lunches. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim, and open-coded by the researchers through constant comparative analysis to identify emergent themes. Results: Interviews yielded three major themes: (1) relationships are foundational to support educational innovation and experimentation, (2) the value of engaging in FTS must be experienced and communicated by a broad swath of the school community, and (3) prioritization of FTS leads to embeddedness into school daily life and practice. Success of FTS programming was often attributed to foundational relationships at the school that supported innovation. The value of engaging in FTS must be communicated in order to gain funding and school policy support from parents, school boards, faculty, and staff. Applications to Child Nutrition Professionals: This study connects FTS programming with school culture and illustrates that FTS is successful when efforts are integrated with school-wide initiatives. Child nutrition professionals play an essential role in these areas. Strong communication of the value of FTS can lead to support for policies and funding that can sustain programming beyond the passions of any one individual person. For benefits such as increased fruit and vegetable consumption to be realized, FTS must be communicated, experienced, and prioritized.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Vermont
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A