In spring 2013, nearly 30 Winooski High School students explored how food brings communities together through a six-week leadership program with Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC). Throughout the program, students used food as a vehicle to celebrate different cultures, discuss personal and cultural values, and connect food with current issues. In addition, this community-school partnership addressed the following shared goals: leadership and workforce readiness; community connections; academic, social, and emotional learning; and food security in Vermont.
The program ran for a second year in spring 2014. Again, 30 WHS students spent afternoons at VYCC’s 400-acre farm in Richmond, VT where they built leadership skills, explored Vermont-based careers, and worked on projects that directly benefited their local community. VYCC and WHS focused on strengthening the connection between school and community in 2014 by offering academic credit for successful completion of the program and coordinating additional activities on-site in Winooski.