Pilot Light’s Food Education Fellowship Earns Rave Reviews from Teachers

Launched in 2019, Pilot Light’s Food Education Fellowship is a year-long professional development and leadership experience for a cohort of PreK-12 teachers from across the country. The program is designed to build teacher capacity and skill to make important food education part of everyday learning for their students. Guided by Pilot Light’s Food Education Standards, Fellows integrate food education into their classrooms each week as a tool for experiential learning in subjects like math and reading. At the same time, students learn about food and the impacts of their choices on their bodies, communities and our planet.

In the four years since the Food Education Fellowship launched, over 50 teacher fellows have shared enthusiastic feedback on the quality of the professional development and the support they receive from Pilot Light. Further, through the Fellowship, they find a community of other passionate teachers who are also committed to creating positive impact in their classrooms through food education. 

High Quality Professional Development, Coaching & Support

“My experience has been wonderful. I love the different views, presenters, lessons, freedom to explore, diversity of participants, and the openness to demonstrate objectives based on various learning styles.”

Fellowship teachers rave about Pilot Light’s professional development! The monthly sessions are collaborative spaces where teachers learn from guest speakers and from one another.

Guest speakers are experts who enhance teachers’ understanding of our 7 Food Education Standards. In 2021-22, speakers have included:

  • Chef Sebastian White of the Evolved Network, who discussed how food and the environment are interconnected (Food Ed Standard 3). 
  • Rozina Kanchwala of Eco Logic Programs, who spoke about how food choices affect one’s life, community, and the world (Food Ed Standard 7). 
  • Ed McDonald, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Associate Director, Adult Clinical Nutrition at University of Chicago spoke about how food impacts health (Food Ed Standard 5).

Teachers engage in conversations with these experts, which creates the opportunity for a deeper understanding of the topic and practical applications in their classrooms.

The Support from Pilot Light

Pilot Light’s staff are some of the best people I’ve ever met. Their approach and empathy for teachers are unmatched.” 

“I appreciate the empathy you express and show to Fellows. It’s tangible in every communication sent out, and great to have such healthy support.”

Since 2019, teachers in the Food Education Fellowship program have consistently shared positive comments about the support they receive from Pilot Light. Teachers appreciate that our programming team is flexible, responsive, and takes a common-sense approach to integrating food education into everyday learning. 

Teachers have described Pilot Light’s level of support as “unmatched.” First, the Pilot Light team takes the time to understand each teacher’s classroom environment. Then, we establish an open line of communication to learn what teachers need to weave food education into their curriculum effectively. This creates an environment where teachers feel comfortable working with us to empower their students through food education. 

A Community of Teachers Committed to Food Education

I think one of the greatest strengths of the Pilot Light Fellowship is the wide variety of educators in PreK-12, urban and rural, and in many different places. I would for sure recommend teachers in my school apply next year and would highlight that the program can benefit all students, regardless of age or zip code.”

Our professional development provides the opportunity for teachers nationwide, across grade levels and content areas, to collaborate. As they share their experiences, teachers discover new ways to weave food education into their core subjects. Fellowship teachers are creative and generous with one another, routinely sharing lessons and materials. 

Learn more about our Food Education Fellowship. We are accepting applications for the 2022-23 Cohort through May 23, 2022. 


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