Each year, Pilot Light welcomes existing Pre-K-12 teacher leaders to join The Food Education Fellowship. Fellows develop expertise with integrating Food Education into everyday learning for their students.

Here’s how Pilot Light invests in our Fellows…

The Food Education Fellowship is a multi-tiered experience. Over the course of the school year, Food Ed. Fellows:

  • Receive 30 hours of professional development. Our professional development features leaders and experts in fields related to Food Education such as health, agriculture, school food, food equity, and advocacy. 
  • Receive 1:1 coaching from staff and peers to support the use of our innovative framework in their classroom.  
  • Earn professional development hours required for certification (Illinois teachers only).
  • Receive a $2,000 stipend for their time, energy, and thought partnership as well as $300 for classroom materials.
  • Co-plan a chef demo aligned to their curricula with the Pilot Light team
  • Collaborate regularly with a partner in the food space to build an advocacy project with their students through support provided by the Pilot Light team. These often include national and community partners or chefs/restaurants. 
  • Become part of a growing network of 70+ Food Education leaders.

Click here to apply for the 2024-25 Food Education Fellowship! 

Application Timeline


We’re here to answer. Start by checking out our FAQs. 

Watch the recording of our live Office Hours with the Pilot Light team and Fellowship alum Deborah Riddle! This is a great opportunity to learn from a teacher firsthand about their Fellowship experience. Please contact Caitlin Arens, Food Education Fellowship Director, at caitlin@pilotlightchefs.org with additional questions.

Food Education Fellowship Office Hours – 5/1/24 from Pilot Light on Vimeo

Rave Reviews

Since 2019, teachers have raved about the structure, content, and lasting impact of Pilot Light’s Food Education Fellowship.

“My participation with the Fellowship quite literally altered the direction of my professional life and has opened to so many doors I would never have encountered otherwise. Even though I’m years out from my Fellowship, the lessons and experiences I gained through that experience still have a direct and measurable impact on classroom and career.”

– Food Education Fellowship Alum Ryan J. 

“Pilot Light taught me the relevance of Food Education across all subject areas. My students engagement increased as they related and understood the Food Education Standards. We loved exploring, tasting, and cooking new food!”

– Food Education Fellowship Alum Andrea R.


What does Pilot Light look like in the classroom?

The Food Education Fellowship is designed to be adaptable and flexible for teachers of all grade levels and subject areas. Through the use of the Food Education Standards, Fellows create new lessons or adapt preexisting curricula to include Food Ed. content in their everyday classroom instruction. Check out the example video below and follow us @pilotlightchefs on Instagram for more stories from our classrooms! 

Third Grade Science Lesson – Pollination

When 21-22 Pilot Light fellow Iván Sarabia made fruit salad with honey dressing with young students, he created an unforgettable science lesson on the importance of pollinators to our food supply chain.


Creating New Lessons + Leveraging Pilot Light Resources 

Pilot Light’s Food Education Center is our online lesson plan library featuring FREE lesson plans and resources for teachers and families. Educators in our Fellowship are encouraged to use these lessons in their classroom or for inspiration as they create their own lessons.

Teachers use Pilot Light to create high-impact, engaging lessons that use food to teach everyday subjects like reading and math. A 2021-22 Fellow used the I Love Saturdays y Domingos by Alma Flor Ada for both English Language Arts and math. Students discussed culture and family before applying math skills to make waffles in class.


Professional Development Speakers

The Fellowship experience is further enhanced through partnerships and the expert speakers who join our professional development sessions.

Axios Reporter Monica Eng discusses Food Education Standard #6: We can make positive and informed food choices with 2023-24 Fellows.

Pilot Light is proud to invite a variety of speakers to share their knowledge and expertise with Fellows each month. We strive to partner with a diverse group of speakers from an array of professional backgrounds to offer interesting and valuable professional development experience for our Fellows. 

In the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years, we welcomed 14 guest PD speakers, including: 


Food Education Fellows work alongside community, school and national partners. Through these partnerships, teachers create deeper impact through food for their students, their schools, and their communities. Examples of partnerships, which often endure even after the Fellowship are:

Check out our blog to learn more about these impactful partnerships: Star Farm Chicago and Green City Market, Baltimore City Public Schools, Great Kids Farm, and Wellness with Bella. Fellows also have the opportunity to partner with a chef in their community to bring hands-on, relevant experiences to their students. WATCH Chef James Martin of Bocadillo Market lead a world history and spice lesson in for Pilot Light Fellow Rita Leary’s 7th & 8th grade students and READ our interview with Chef James and his educator partners to learn how they designed their partnerships! 

Have questions or need additional information? Check out our FAQs! Please contact Caitlin Arens, Food Education Fellowship Director, at caitlin@pilotlightchefs.org with additional questions.

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