FoodCorps Service Members
FoodCorps Service Members
Our FoodCorps Service Members are the charismatic leaders that bring so much life in and outside the classroom. They dedicate themselves to providing the most engaging and memorable experiences for their students, and strive to influence more nutritious lifestyles that are connected to our earth deeply. Within their service, they focus on three areas of service including: Hands-On Learning, Influence Nourishing School Meals, and Building a Culture of Health. Read more about our FoodCorps Service Members below!
Bridgette Byrd is a 1st Year FoodCorps Service Member serving at Avon Avenue School and Hawthorne Avenue School. Bridgette has embarked upon a journey in supporting local Newark schools, providing experiential project-based learning dedicated to healthy kids, food nutrition, and food justice. In her role, she supports academic and social and emotional needs by collaborating with classroom teachers to build on classroom learning, often highlighting Farm to School lessons and utilizing the Conservancy’s nearby Hawthorne Ave. Farm. In the school cafeteria, classrooms, and even on the farm itself, taste tests are integrated to expand food access, exposure, and distribution. Outside is Bridgette’s classroom of choice! Throughout the school year, Bridgette has made it a priority, as often as possible, to give students the opportunity to enjoy outdoor learning experiences in school gardens and on the urban farm cultivating various crops, harvesting produce, and tasting freshly grown fruits and vegetables. As one student joyfully said it perfectly, "Am I eating healthy?...YES! I'm gonna eat heathy every day!"
Julia Sienkiewicz is a 2nd Year FoodCorps Service Member serving at Mt. Vernon Elementary School and Lincoln Elementary School. Julia is our only 2nd Year FoodCorps Service Member who served her first year in Washington, D.C. and is now finishing off her 2nd Year in Newark, New Jersey. She is an experienced educator in the classroom who looks out for the social-emotional needs of her students and cares deeply for their health and futures. Not only is she a phenomenal educator, she is also an accomplished photographer who is able to catch amazing growth and moments with her students and garden. She is able to capture the joy expressed by her students and thrives off that energy in order to take the long drive back home to New York.
Pablo Verissimo is a 1st Year FoodCorps Service Member serving at McKinley Elementary School and Thirteenth Avenue School. Pablo came to us fresh out of college from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, eager to begin his new journey in life. Although he started a tad later than everyone else, he immediately jumped into catch up mode as he prepared for his first lessons. He connected with his students like he has been doing this work for years, and that is evident in the cheers from students and staff that fill the classroom as he walks in. He ensures that what the students are learning in the garden correlate to what is being taught in their classes for a deep connection to their school curriculum. His impact runs so deep that he took on another class at Thirteenth Avenue School, where he works closely with Garden Educator in the garden.
Check Out This FoodCorps Spotlight on Bridgette Byrd
Check Out the Newman's Own Foundation Spotlight on Pablo Verissimo!
Check Out This FoodCorps FoodChat Julia Sienkiewicz Held!
Check Out Our Growing for Change Presentation for the 2023 ANJEE Winter Conference!