There is a substantial body of research showing that direct exposure to nature is important to the normal development of children, and to their emotional and physical health and well-being. Providing this important exposure can be a particular challenge for schools in New York City. Farm-based education allows children to learn about and observe nature, and also to work actively with nature to produce one of the necessities for human life – nutritious food. As a school committed to providing an optimal educational environment for advanced learners, The Speyer Legacy School set out purposefully to develop an innovative, farm-based education program to promote nutritional literacy.
Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, The Speyer Legacy School Farm opened in the spring of 2010 as an integral part of the science and optimal health curricula for advanced learners at The Speyer Legacy School. Since then, Speyer Farm has relocated to Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center in Westchesterhilltophanoverfarm.
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During their monthly visits to the farm, Speyer students participate in a unique "garden-to-table" experience by growing, harvesting and cooking from their own three-acre production organic garden with naturally nutritious recipes. They learn about nutrition, agricultural and environmental science through focused study that is integrated with their classroom science curriculum. They also learn through engaging activities and creative play that allow them to explore the natural ecosystem of the farm. The school intends to incorporate organic produce from the farm into its forthcoming school lunch program. To maximize the impact of the farm for nutrition education, Speyer has also made the farm and its innovative curriculum available to the Hunter College Elementary School, a public school devoted to advanced learners.
Speyer's innovative farm-based program and curriculum are featured in a mini-series by Birds Nest Productions on cutting edge nutrition education and school lunch programs. Click to view highlights of the program BirdsNestPr
The Farm Committee of our Parent Association organizes and supports family involvement in Speyer Farm and family school sponsored events are scheduled throughout the year. We are excited to weave this valuable collaboration into the ongoing development of our school program.