The Walker School in Liberty, an elementary school in RSU 3, will host a FoodCorps associate for the 2012-13 school year. Katie Morabito will be traveling to Maine from Michigan in August to work with students, teachers and the active group of greenhouse volunteers to extend what is currently in place at Walker School. The school has a greenhouse that functions as a hands-on lab for student learning and as a source for food that is about as local as it gets.

Food produced in the greenhouse is used for daily snacks and for school lunch.Morabito  will help solidify and expand the program that is currently in place, with a focus on designing, planning, building, planting and harvesting a series of raised beds next to the school’s greenhouse. Not only will the creation process will be an integral part of the learning that is happening at Walker School, but it will also lead to an increase in the local produce used in school lunches. The raised beds will also be tied to a summer program that allows students to continue learning into the summer by tending and managing the gardens and deciding how to make the best use of what is produced. Student input in all processes related to the school gardens will be central to the learning taking place at Walker School, with students making decisions about what is planted and how it is used when the produce is ready for harvest.

The program at Walker will serve as a model for the other three small elementary schools in the district, as well as for other schools in other districts. The district recently submitted a grant proposal to the USDA which, if accepted, would help expand the school gardens that are in various stages of development in the other three schools by providing tools, storage spaces, hoop houses and seeds.

FoodCorps is a national service organization, similar to Vista and Americorps, which aims to connect student health and learning to a growth in school gardens and to strengthen connections between schools and local food. Part of Walker School’s commitment to being part of the program is a contribution of $5,000 to help support the FoodCorps. Walker School is actively seeking contributions to help supply this $5,000 Anyone who would like to support the program financially should contact Walker School Principal Glen Widmer at 589-4208 or