In a community with food deserts and low access to fresh produce, where do people get their food, and why is it important? Eighth graders at ECA and history teacher Jason Pigott utilized What If 101 to explore the state of food in their community and their school system.
Students researched food distribution, agriculture, and farming in the 21st century. They met and interviewed local experts from organizations that bring health, nutrition, community engagement, and social services expertise to the table, including:
- Stark County Hunger Task Force
- Aultman College of Nursing
- Ohio Farm Bureau
To experience food issues firsthand – and sample some delicious local cuisine along the way – What If 101 students toured local restaurants that work directly with farmers and producers in greater Canton area and visited Clardale Farms, one of the largest dairy farms in Stark County.
We challenged our students: how would you redesign the food distribution system in your school and community? By reflecting, brainstorming, and collaborating with each other, students developed and launched pilot programs to enhance their community’s food. They designed and constructed two mini green houses, discovering along the way the challenges, rewards, and complexities of planting, tending and harvesting food. We provided valuable opportunities for students to make connections from their classroom curriculum to real life in their community, which allowed What If 101 students to collaborate, contribute, and grow in knowledge and character.