Dear Friends,

This summer, we've sent you many resources because we know you're a thoughtful bunch who appreciates them. If you missed one of our bulletins, you can find them here.

And...we're slowing things down this month with a smaller collection, encouraging you to spend more time with fewer links. Dig into them, ask questions, share them with your friends, read them again, and integrate them into your farm-based teaching!

We're also sharing some great upcoming workshops, including Farm to School Coordination with an Equity Lens coming up on August 12 (register by August 10)!
With gratitude,

As we think about what the coming school year may look like, I keep coming back to the word “community.” How can we, as educators and community members, support our teachers and schools? What does it mean to be physically distant, but emotionally connected? In researching this idea, I came across this lesson plan from Teaching Tolerance: What Is Community? . It is not only a beautiful expression of what it means to be in community with others, but also has a school garden extension. I hope that this lesson plan serves as a spark of inspiration for my fellow farm based educators to highlight community and connection as we think about fall programming. 

-Ashley Davenport, Retreat Farm, Brattleboro, VT
I am a white woman educator in a state with one of the highest percentages of white residents. It is my responsibility to educate any student (child, adult, white, Black, or otherwise) through a multicultural lens. For me, this is a practice that is never done and involves so much more than just reading books with POC main characters. This article introduces the terms "multicultural education" and "social justice education. These terms are different, according to Zaretta Hammond, because social justice education goes beyond multicultural education by providing "a lens for the student, really being able to look at the world and seeing where things aren’t fair or where injustice exists.”

It is important for me as a white educator to check in and see what changes I can make in my teaching to represent, more widely and powerfully, the systemic change that so many of us are seeking. The author, Sheldon Eakins, also has a podcast and other resources you can access from Leading Equity Center.

-Meredith Rivlin, Cedar Circle Farm, East Thetford, VT
If you're working with schools and teachers, it's been hard to know how districts are planning and how teachers are planning their weeks, months and years since Covid began. The Nebraska State Ed Association and others have collaborated to bring teachers together and share resources. The free presentations on Eventbrite, are hosted by Rich Middelstedt and each has a bitlink for full access to their slides. This set has a ton of resources on lesson planning for virtual learning. Have you been attending other workshops on really practical uses of virtual learning tools for students during Covid? Who are the people you are following? 

I found this educators' guide about Anchoring Phenomena for STE (science, technology, and engineering) from Dept. of Education in Massachusetts to be relevant as we prepare for the upcoming season of farm-based programming. This article defines phenomena based learning and gives models of how learning experiences can be more relevant and engaging for students. The case for teaching with phenomena is strong, including facilitating student skill building, investigation, and place-based engagement with a science or engineering topic.

As we build programs for upcoming school field trips, virtual or otherwise, garden education has so many phenomena with which to anchor educational experiences! Cited in the resource, this STEM teaching tools checklist helps pinpoint qualities of a good phenomena for which to anchor a series of science lessons.

-Hallie Sykes, Oxbow Farm and Conservation Center, Carnation, WA
So many of us are making videos now - but why reinvent the wheel? Let's point our audiences to fantastic videos explaining natural processes that are hard to explain without wonderful graphics like these, and then supplement with our own. Let's look for videos made by people of color to incorporate representative diversity in our visual offerings! Check out the decomposition video on this playlist, appropriate for ages 7 or 8 and up depending on prior knowledge. Paired with some footage of your own compost system, worm bin activity or [insert awesome thing you do here] , you'll have a well-rounded offering with all the bells and whistles that we can't, and probably shouldn't be spending our time. Bonus - pair this video with SafeShareTV - putting the link through that site ensures ads are removed, and allows you to trim the videos to just the parts you want to share. 

Upcoming Workshops
August 12 | 10:00 - 11:30 ET

Join Patrice Lockert Anthony (Black Label Consulting and Coaching) and Jess Barbini (Farm to School Coordinator) for an enlightening conversation about centering racial equity in your farm to school work in the cafeteria, classroom, and community. Whether you are just beginning your journey or have many growing seasons and training under your belt, there is a place for you in this conversation. Throughout this conversation we will talk about a fuller history of food service and farming to prepare us for a more honest and engaging experience with our young people. Presented in partnership with the Northeast Farm to School Institute. View presenter bios and more information.

August 20 | 1-2:15 ET

A space to share your questions, challenges, and learning with other farm camp operators. 

August 28 | 1-2:00 ET

Handing an egg to a child is a recipe for curiosity, wonder, and exploration! At Tollgate Farm and Education Center, in Novi, MI Program Instructor and Education Coordinator, Ellen Koehler dissects chicken eggs with kids during an in-school embryology program for grades 1-5 and most recently, she's done it virtually with kids at home! Become a student during this activity-share, where we'll look at the parts of an embryo, different kinds of eggs, and their amazing anatomy. We'll also have time for questions and ideas about how to respectfully use this activity in your settings. 

October 20, 22, 27, 29

While not hosted by FBEN, we're encouraging members to check out this 4-part virtual workshop which will support leaders, communicators, and practitioners in harnessing the shared narrative to craft compelling stories. Encompassing both storytelling theory and practical application, this hands-on workshop will invite participants to build, share, and reflect on a story that communicates how their work contributes to healthy communities for all. 

Rethink Outside believes when we express the benefits of time spent outdoors as a basic human right⏤one that everyone deserves the opportunity to experience—that opens the door for new awareness and action.