Well, I do that, but guess what, kids already know about climate change because they learn about it in school.
And so, I often find myself listening to kids talk about food. And in the process, I find that the issue is their frustration with their food systems: what they eat, what they are not allowed to eat, what their food is served on, and what they're allowed to do with their food waste.
This issue is so massive, I will only try and bite off, so to speak, a little bit in this particular blog. Our new web site, Youth Power Indiana, will track these discussions, frustrations — and ultimately, celebrate the numerous successes of school kids all over Indiana when it comes to food and food systems.
Last week, I visited Decatur Discovery Academy. This remarkable high school attended the Eco-Science Fair at the Indiana State Museum for the Going Green Festival in March. I was so impressed with what these kids are doing at their school regarding sustainability stewardship, especially in the area of food, that I had to do a site visit.
|Food scraps from lunch are collected in this pail...|
|...then dumped into their composting area outside, adjacent to the school. |
|Raised garden beds are recipients of the composted nutrients.|
I can only imagine how irresistible that was! Indeed, they were granted the permission to build and place a chicken coop on their school grounds.
|The existing chicken coop, in need of an upgrade.|
|Their new chicken coop in its construction phase.|
What's next for Decatur Discovery Academy? Well, for one thing — besides completing the new coop — they'd like a bee hive, something they've been told they can not do. Perhaps the students advocating for it in person might make the difference!
I know that, for example, at the old Project School in Indianapolis, they had bee hives for two years, and not one kid was stung.
Also, apparently, there are bees LOOSED in nature! Crazy, I know...
The food saga continues...
This week I visited another Eco-Science Fair attendee, Paul I. Miller School 114. (If there is an underlying message you should take away it's this: You show up, I'll show up.)
Anyway, this IPS school had wonderful display at the Eco-Science Fair!
|School 114; thanks to Jeremy McClean for this photo!|
I met with the eco club, showed a bit of my presentation, but ended up spending the majority of time talking about ... yep, food.
The kids told me a harrowing story, one I think deserves a deeper investigation, in case there are some journalists reading this blog. The school used to receive whole fruit as part of a federal food program.
Now, they receive their fruit cut up in pieces and stuck into plastic bags.
If you think I am making this up, then feast, so to speak, your eyes on this:
See, you thought I might be kidding.
Want to see how it makes Luke, a student at School 114, feel?
Not too happy, is he?
The kids said they'd like to stop this silly procedure, but other than writing letters to leaders, they didn't exactly know what to do.
Nor do I. All I know is these young stewards of the planet are doing everything they can to improve their food systems, and we should do everything we can to help them.
In the process, we can support our local farmers, our local economy, and the health and well-being of our kids and our communities. Whatever obstacles exist should be solved.
Speaking of local farmers schooling and feeding kids, I left School 114 and in under 5 minutes found myself at the doorstep of Andrew Distelrath, whose Distelrath Farms is renown throughout the Indianapolis area.
Imagine this generation of kids learning math, science, history, social studies, engineering, technology and art through growing food that they themselves consume.
That's more "wins" than I can even count.
|Distelrath Farms: Imagine the possibilities...|
What better thing to do, than to hang out at a school with great kids and supportive teachers, then make an unplanned visit to a neighbor and see something like this:
I call this My Year of Living Joyously.