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2016FallSymposiumURCreativityEngagement has ended
Tuesday, December 6 • 9:00am - 9:20am
Investigating Best Practices To Develop A Curriculum For Community Resilience And Food Security

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Many counties of Western North Carolina have high levels of food insecurity. One way to address this issue is to provide communities with the tools and training to grow and prepare their own food. Often by implementing systems to address food needs, other positive impacts can emerge, such as helping individuals alleviate depression and encouraging community resiliency. Through a partnership with the non-profit organization Groundswell International, a twelve lesson curriculum was developed and tested over the summer of 2016 as a component of the “Grow Food Where People Live” initiative. This took place in Polk County, North Carolina, at a section 8 housing development known as Ashley Meadows. This project attempted to address possible solutions to food insecurity in Western North Carolina, with a final product that can be applied to any community struggling with food security and community resiliency. The research involved investigating existing models of successful community agriculture projects, as well as using formative and summative evaluation methods to understand what the participants were gaining from the program and how it could be improved. Evaluations were conducted in the form of weekly class assessments, as well as a pre- and post- survey prior to beginning the course and after completion. Several challenges were faced during the project. Participants expressed frustration at circumstances out of their control, for example constraints enforced by the Section 8 housing rules, poor soil, and unbearable Polk County heat. Additional participation incentives may be needed in the future, as well as long-term curriculum evaluation.

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Tuesday December 6, 2016 9:00am - 9:20am
103 Rhoades Robinson Hall

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