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.

As a Fellow, you will:

  • Receive 40 hours of professional development and 1:1 coaching to support the use of our innovative framework in your classroom. Our professional development features leaders and experts in fields related to food education, such as health, agriculture, school food, food equity, and advocacy. 
  • Earn professional development hours required for certification (Illinois teachers only).
  • Receive a $2,000 stipend for your time and $250 for classroom materials.
  • Collaborate regularly with a partner in the food space through support provided by the Pilot Light team. These often include national and community partners or chefs.
  • Become part of a growing network of 50+ food education leaders.


Our application for the 2022-23 year is now closed. If you’re interested in being the first to know when our 2023-2024 application launches, please fill out this survey. Thank you for your passion for food education!



Rave Reviews

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

I have greatly enjoyed my time with Pilot Light…

…and feel it has made me a better educator to be so consciously focused on food. Even more important, my students greatly enjoy the lessons and have become more conscious of their food choices as well as the world around them.

– 2021-22 Food Education Fellow

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.

– 2021-22 Food Education Fellow


What does Pilot Light look like in the classroom?

Third Grade Science Lesson – Pollination

When 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 

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.

Leveraging our Lesson Library

Pilot Light’s Food Education Center is our digital library. Materials are available for free to anyone who needs them. Teachers in our Fellowship are encouraged to use these lessons in their classroom or for inspiration as they create their own lessons.


Professional Development Speakers

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

Pilot Light is proud to invite a variety of speakers to share their knowledge and expertise with fellows each month. These are a few we had the privilege to welcome recently:

  • Geeta Maker-Clark, MD, Integrative Family Medicine Director, Integrative Nutrition and Advocacy at NorthShore University Health System; Director, Food is Power program – Montessori School of Englewood; Co-Director, Culinary Medicine Curriculum Clinical Assistant Professor, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago
  • Ed McDonald, MD, Associate Director of Adult Nutrition at the University of Chicago
  • Sebastian White, The Evolved Network



Many fellows work alongside community and national partners. Through these partnerships, teachers create an even deeper impact through food for their students, their schools, and their communities. Examples of partnerships, which often endure even after the Fellowship has concluded, 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.

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