Love Food? This Free Teacher Trip Is Both Foodie Heaven and Summer PD

Spend time on a gorgeous Hudson Valley farm and pilot a food studies program in your school!

Clear your calendar this summer because we have come across one of the most incredible opportunities for you, your school, and your students. It’s a free teacher trip and professional development opportunity with a focus your stomach will love—food.

Teachers know it’s rare to find innovative, hands-on professional development—especially outside a dreary classroom. So when we discovered Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture’s 2018 Summer Teacher Institute, it was a no-brainer to make sure every eligible teacher we know applies immediately.

About the Stone Barns Center Summer Teacher Institute

This free teacher trip offers the chance for high school teachers in Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and NYC to join a once-in-a-lifetime experience at Stone Barns Center. If you’re passionate about food, curious what it’s like to farm, and interested in piloting a food studies curriculum at your school, this program is for you.

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is located in New York’s Hudson Valley. The sprawling, 80-acre grounds house a nonprofit farm and educational center unlike any in the country. With a mission to improve the way America eats and farms, Stone Barns grows hundreds of varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs and raises animals including chickens, turkeys, geese, sheep, pigs, and bees. Their year-round farm operates as an innovative lab to solve food system challenges and a classroom for their educational programs to educate food citizens—people who understand that their food choices impact personal, environmental, and community health.

No visit to Stone Barns is the same—you can meet the farmers, tour the grounds, shop the market, and participate in annual activities like sheep shearing fest.

Let’s just take this view in for a moment, shall we?

Food Studies Curriculum

The curriculum Stone Barns created for their Summer Teacher Institute is fascinating. Food is at the center of our culture, from family recipes to holiday gatherings to dinners out. Making conscious food choices is critical to the health of our environment and bodies. By teaching students about the complexities of our food system as well as critical basic cooking skills, we can create educated “food citizens” who will impact our world for the better.

Just take a look at some of your Summer Teacher Institute classmates:

Or imagine learning in this “classroom:”

The lucky teachers chosen for the Stone Barns Center Summer Teacher Institute will learn how to explore food culture, ecology, and justice with students, conduct “Kitchen Labs” that teach students to cook, and set up productive field trips to local farms. The food studies curriculum is designed to help students become thoughtful eaters, confident cooks and advocates for a healthier food system. The chosen teachers will have the honor of pioneering this important subject at their schools. (Check out how this high school teacher revamped curriculum to focus on food systems and structures of power.) We also love that there’s an emphasis on bringing the Stone Barns Center curriculum to schools in under-resourced areas.

Picture your students creating this edible work of art:

The requirements to apply to the Stone Barns Center Summer Teacher Institute are simple. You need:

  • At least two years of full-time teaching experience in any subject
  • Willingness and ability to pilot Stone Barns Center food studies curriculum in your high school during the 2018-19 school year
  • That’s it!

When is this free teacher trip?

Session I (Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles & Miami Teachers): July 22 through August 2.

Session II (NYC Metro Area Teachers): August 6 through August 15


The application deadline is EXTENDED to April 23 and is available here.

What is included in this free teacher trip?

  • Reimbursement of up to $600 for transportation from your local airport
  • Lodging at a nearby school dorm
  • Daily transportation to and from the center
  • Most meals during the program
  • Training to implement Stone Barns Center food studies curriculum in your school
  • Resources and follow-up support
  • A connection to a farm in your area for field trips and seasonal produce

Twenty-five teachers will be accepted to the program, and we want you to get in. Just promise that we’ll get invites to meals starring beautiful, farm-fresh ingredients like these:

Here’s to a delicious experience ahead for you and your students!

This program is made possible by the generous support of  


Lauren Brown West-Rosenthal

Posted byLauren Brown West-Rosenthal

Lauren West-Rosenthal is a senior editor at WeAreTeachers. In the fourth grade, she started writing "bonus chapters" to her favorite books. Her teacher was impressed -- and encouraging -- and a vast writing career was born!

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