“I support Jones Valley because of their commitment to our students and because they give students a different perspective on how to look at food.”
A true educator excited about building new learning opportunities for students, Marie Jemison was foundational in developing the pilot Good School Food program at Glen Iris Elementary. She first worked with Jones Valley at a science curriculum workshop, but she quickly became a critical partner and helped craft Good School Food’s approach and model.
“Jones Valley changed my way of thinking about people,” she said, “When we began the partnership with Grant and Sara, there was just a wealth of information that Jones Valley was able to provide to us.” That partnership grew to produce components of Good School Food like Farm Lab, an outdoor learning laboratory at Glen Iris, as well as the on-site Student-Run Farmers Market.
Marie will serve as the Curriculum Specialist at Glen Iris this school year and help grow Jones Valley’s work there even more. “Kids learning about food is hopeful because it’s going to make our world healthier,” she said. “It’s going to make them healthier as individuals.”
She says that Good School Food has an impact beyond just the students in the program.
“If students take that information home and it is imparted to the parents then it is imparted into the community as well,” she said. “It’s a seed that grows. It produces.”
Marie also believes that the interactive educational approach of Good School Food makes it what she calls “an authentic experience” for students to learn about science and other core subjects, rather than relying solely on books or lectures.
“They’re getting the opportunity to actually plant the seeds in the ground, see how it grows, and then realize the importance of what this vegetable or this fruit can do as far as their health,” she said. “I think that’s really important for the students to be able to see that process.”