Rethink Food, an educational charity established by educators urges northeast businesses as we embark on a new year to aid in implementing a groundbreaking food education initiative.
This programme aims to assist children in the region in leading more secure lives when it comes to food.
Currently, food education in primary schools isn’t properly formalised in the curriculum leaving huge gaps of knowledge in children’s education around food, nutrition and physical activity. This has long-term impacts on health and well-being. Rethink Food’s programme is revolutionary as it empowers children to take positive action around food and sustainability.
The Rethink Food programme has been designed by teachers, for teachers and costs just £200 per school for a year’s learning. It is calling for businesses to fund the roll-out to 717 northeast primary schools which would help 170,000 children gain essential food education knowledge.
“We know there is a real need in the north east to plug the gap in the curriculum on food and nutrition education. We are calling for local businesses and individuals to help fund just £200 per school to allow us to deliver this much needed and powerful food programme.Nathan Atkinson, co-founder of Rethink Food
“This is so important as we know that teaching children about food sustainability in their early years will help break the circular pattern of childhood related health issues that all stem from food, namely hunger, behaviour, obesity, and tooth decay.”
The learning programme is designed to upskill teachers in a complex and ever-evolving subject matter, while providing fun and engaging education material to tool up children now and later in life. It will empower students to make positive choices for their plate and planet and will cultivate a lifelong understanding of how to live a healthy, sustainable life.
Around 160 primary schools across the North East are already enrolled on the new food and lifestyle learning programme. However, further financial backing is required to enable a further 717 schools to take part, meaning all primary-aged children in the region have access to the programme.
The roll-out of the learning programme follows the successful pilot of Rethink Food’s ‘Agents of Change’ initiative which launched a year ago with the backing of The Greggs Foundation. This resulted in more than 29,000 children across 290 schools nationally engaging with the learning. One of the first schools to participate was Darlington-based Red Hall Primary School.
Red Hall Primary School went on to deliver more than 450 hours of food education, seamlessly integrating Rethink Food’s digital learning into its curriculum as part of the pilot. The programme has inspired the children to be more environmentally conscious and apply classroom-learned skills in their daily lives, fostering a greater concern for the planet and their dietary choices.
The industry-pioneering teaching program includes lesson plans, short films, downloadable and adaptable content as well as more interactive resources such as the space age growing towers where children learn how to plant, grow, cultivate, and eat salad like chard and rocket. As part of its launch. it is offering schools the opportunity to download free teaching materials, visit www.rethinkfood.co.uk to begin a free trial.
“We know there are huge time and resource pressures on schools, but with the help of businesses we can make a positive difference to the health of our future generations. It’s just £200 per year per school and businesses can sponsor one school or a number of schools in their region which will allow us to put food education directly into classrooms without causing budgetary issues to schools.”Kevin Mackay, co-founder of Rethink Food
Any corporations inspired to get involved by pledging time, funds, or resources to Rethink Food should get in touch via www.rethinkfood.co.uk.