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The ICSD Farm to Table Program

This past spring, the Ithaca City School District was awarded a grant from the New York State Education Department to support a Farm to Table (FTT) summer and afterschool program. The ICSD FTT provides a contextualized, interdisciplinary, hands-on study of food, nutrition, gardening, and cooking. The program is offered to second- and third-grade students attending Belle Sherman, Beverly J. Martin, Cayuga Heights, and Enfield.

Designed to reinforce and complement students’ regular academic program, the ICSD FTT incorporates skills in writing, reading, and math, as well as content from health, science, and social studies. Through partnerships with organizations, such as the Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Food Studies Institute, students also have the opportunity to visit local farms and food facilities.

Another major component of the ICSD FTT is family engagement. Families are strongly encouraged to become involved with the program, whether by helping guide the curriculum and choosing which foods the students learn about, joining the students on field trips and for special events, or participating in the Program Advisory Committee (PAC). The ICSD FTT also has a designated parent liaison, Valerie Caward. 

Program Director Laurie Pattington, a first-grade teacher at Cayuga Heights, has been working with children and food systems as a farmer and educator for 20 years. 

For more information on the ICSD FTT, visit its webpage.

Case Studies
Belle Sherman: What is "Good" Food?
Beverly J. Martin: What is a Nutritious Meal?
Cayuga Heights: What is Our Food Story?
Enfield: Building a Community Garden


Five Target Questions

  1. How will we ensure that students are agents of their learning?
  2. How can we use the case study as a vehicle for literacy instruction?
  3. How can we involve families in authentic and powerful ways?
  4. How will we build students’ and families’ food literacy?
  5. What does it mean to be culturally responsive in this work?

NYSED 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant
The ICSD FTT is one of 122 programs across the state funded by a 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) grant. The purpose of the grants is to allow schools and other organizations develop programs that provide (i) students with supplemental academic enrichment and (ii) families with opportunities for active and meaningful engagement in their children’s learning. The ICSD received a five-year grant of $212,000 per year.  

Belle Sherman
Beverly J Martin
Cayuga Heights
Fall Creek
South Hill
Boynton Middle
DeWitt Middle
Ithaca HS
Lehman Alternative


Ithaca City School District
Dr. Luvelle Brown, Superintendent
400 Lake Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 274-2101