Chicago Teachers and Students Share their Food Advocacy Projects


As the school year wraps up, Pilot Light joined together with participants of the Pilot Light Institute for Food Education to showcase teachers’ Food Advocacy Projects. Each teacher was tasked with developing student-driven food advocacy projects to teach students to work together toward a common goal that advances wellness in their communities. From community gardens to cook books, the results were an inspiring testament to the positive impact and connectedness that food can provide communities. 

Claremont Academy students were tasked with creating their own food dish, ensuring the student able to provide a food experience that they have never had before. “Pilot Light opened their eyes and my eyes to what is possible in the class room.” —teacher, Claremont Academy

Earle STEM Elementary School started a Pilot Light Cooking Club, providing 60 minutes of meal planning and cooking with the students.  Additionally, students learned about food preservation to help reduce food waste. Using fermentation, students learned how different cultures use it to preserve vegetables. “We live in a city where we have so many diverse options, but many students are closed off from them. Not anymore thanks to Pilot Light!” —teacher, Earle STEM Elementary School

Mitchell Elementary School was inspired by a student’s excitement from trying tea for the first time. They created a tea and are selling it at the farmers market to benefit the school.

Bass Elementary School revitalized their community garden. The students were empowered to take ownership of the garden; cleaning it, maintaining it, planting new seeds and will soon be harvesting their produce. “Our kids took ownership and (our school garden) was revitalized.” —teacher, Bass Elementary

Ray Elementary School students studied seasonality, researching what grows locally in Illinois. Based on their research, the students then developed their own recipes which were compiled in to a Ray Elementary cookbook called Ray Really Cook.

Pilot Light has reached nearly 1,500 kids in 14 Chicago Public Schools. In classrooms across the city, 51 teachers who received training at the Pilot Light Institute for Food Education worked alongside volunteer chefs to deliver Pilot Light’s lessons and food education standards.

The school year may be coming to a close, but Pilot Light is ramping up for the 2018-19 school year. We need your help now to give more kids in more classrooms that same opportunity. Every $5,000 you help us raise will deliver a full school year of professional development and support to a classroom including teacher participation in the award-winning Pilot Light Institute for Food Education, chef demos, recipes, lesson materials, and healthy food.

Donate now to support Pilot Light reaching 1800 new student in the 2018-2019 school year.

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