I feel so lucky that we found an amazing preschool for Rory when we moved to Central Texas. This school has become the center of what we consider our “community” here — so much so that I’m already dreading Rory’s graduation to kindergarten, as we won’t have the excuse to see all the wonderful school folks quite as often.
When I found the school’s Web site before moving here, I think I literally cried with joy. Its values were so aligned with what we wanted for our kids — and it was in our price range and actually had available spots. Those values are expressed through the fact that the children spend a good amount of time outdoors, the instruction includes caring for animals (a miniature donkey, two pigs, sheep and cats), and — most importantly — they feed the children healthy, organic meals and snacks.
I would love for my eldest son to get such high-quality food at his public school, and it seems like the best hope for that would be a farm-to-cafeteria program — where kids help grow fresh vegetables on land near the school, and the produce is then used to cook from-scratch meals in the cafeteria.
Recently, I had a chance to join the ranks of contributors of a new web site, Foodie Parent, and, in that guise, I did some interviews with a farmer and some parents involved in a really revolutionary farm-to-school program in Colorado — the first of its kind in the state. I ended up really inspired by what these folks have accomplished — and the benefits the school children will reap — but also a little daunted by the amount of work it (of course) took to bring it to life. Check it out: Making Farm to Cafeteria Happen, Parts 1 and 2.