Portsmouth, NH School District and Nutrition Department - CLIPPERS Farm to School Program
Our farm to school program (CLIPPERS Farm to School) in the Portsmouth, NH School District and Nutrition Department has been made possible by the receipt of USDA Planning and Implementation grants. We are currently half way through our Implementation Grant period with a strong focus this spring on identifying and executing garden-tied curriculum. We recognize we need to integrate our gardens into school standards and lessons, and carry the garden care through summer into the fall so harvests can be celebrated with lessons, events and in our school cafeterias as breakfast and lunch offerings.
Our mission for our CLIPPERS Farm to School Program is to cultivate a strong Farm to School program in the Portsmouth School District by focusing on personal, community, and environmental wellness through education, as well as growing and procuring healthy, fresh, and local foods for our classrooms, cafeterias, and consciousness.
Our USDA Farm to School Implementation Grant OBJECTIVES by December 2017 are:
1. School food volume and expenditure going to local or regional farms for fresh produce, meat, and/or fish will increase to 15% by the end of the grant period.
2. Gardens at every school will be built or enhanced so that they are actively used as classrooms and have the capacity to supplement cafeteria offerings by the end of the grant period.
3. All grades in the district will integrate CLIPPERS F2S into the curriculum through onsite gardens, visiting farmers and chefs, field trips, and other innovative means by the end of the grant period.
4. Implement effective marketing and fundraising activities to ensure that the CLIPPERS F2S program will be sustainable by the end of the grant period and integrated into district wide wellness policy.
Over 2,600 students attend Portsmouth Public Schools, from pre-K through high school, hailing from Portsmouth, and neighboring towns Newcastle, Rye, Greenland, and Newington as students age into middle and high school. Currently our teachers are actively adopting Next Generation Science Standards in our Elementary Schools, opening a window of opportunity for us to incorporate farm to school lessons. Our teachers are also interested and involved in Growth Mindset, and look forward to exploring ways to incorporate some of these practices into our growing spaces.
The CLIPPERS Farm to School Program’s long-term vision would be carried out in 10 years time. By this time we aim to own a vibrantly interactive farm to school program that has provided Portsmouth district graduates with a comprehensive experience and education that positions them to partake in farm to table and food system efforts as healthy, thoughtful, responsible, and contributing citizens anywhere they land.