The academic YCAP track is based at Newcomer Academy in partnership with the Accelerate to Graduate (A2G) program. We provide food and agricultural project-based learning experiences and healthy lifestyle education for immigrant and refugee students in danger of aging out of traditional high school.
The program promotes healthy food knowledge and behaviors and food system engagement. The program also helps students accelerate English language acquisition and core content learning in multiple areas. For example, when the A2G program was at Iroquois High School, one academic YCAP project incorporated math, physics, geography and writing as students- representing 12 countries- built an earthen oven for our outdoor classroom at Iroquois Urban Farm and hosted a community meal. In another project, students created a blog for their own food stories and recipes. As part of the program in the spring of 2019, the A2G students shared recipes from their home countries to improve their English comprehension. These recipes were compiled by The Food Literacy Project, and can be found here.
In the coming year, students will create their own container gardens at home and, upon returning to the school building, design and build a school garden to enhance the outdoor learning environment at their school. Over the next 2 years, we will be working with Newcomer Academy students and teachers and JCPS instructional leads to develop food system-themed cross-curricular instructional resources, inquiry design modules, that take students from inquiry to action.