The academic YCAP track is based at Iroquois High School, providing 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. IHS’s graduation rate (60.8%) is well below district (80.6%) and state (89.7%) averages; only 20% of all IHS students and only 11.2% of IHS’s EL students are considered college/career ready.
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, 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. In the coming year, students will design and build a school garden and enhance the outdoor learning environment at their school. Over the next 3 years, we will be working with Iroquois High School 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.
One of the Iroquois High School programs we work with is Accelerate to Graduate (A2G), a program through Jefferson County Public Schools that helps accelerate the learning of English as a Second Language (ESL) students to help them graduate before they age out of the school system. The program sets them up for success with language learning and individualized learning plans. 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.