About ASAP

Growing Minds is a program of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food.

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Growing Minds @ Community Colleges

Growing Minds offers a range of resources to community college instructors who are interested in incorporating farm to preschool programming into their early childhood care and education coursework, including our comprehensive Farm to Preschool Toolkit, presentations, videos, workshops, funding, and more. 

Why Farm to Preschool?

Why include farm to preschool in your early childhood education (ECE) coursework? North Carolina is becoming a national model for how to integrate farm to preschool programming into community college curriculum. By incorporating farm to preschool into your curriculum, your students will enter their ECE careers equipped with the knowledge and skills to impact children and families through local food and farm to preschool activities. 

Early childhood is a critical stage of child development. Attitudes toward foods that are shaped at this time in life are strong determinants of later eating behaviors. Many preschool-aged children suffer from high rates of obesity and low consumption of, and access to, fruits and vegetables. It is imperative to establish healthy habits early on. Many preschoolers consume the majority of their daily nutrients in child care, and more than any other age group, they rely on parents and caregivers to shape their food and activity environments. Farm to preschool programming is an ideal way to establish healthy patterns in our youngest citizens and connect them to the food they eat, simultaneously supporting local food systems.

Growing Minds staff members currently co-facilitate the North Carolina Farm to Preschool Network and serve in the National Farm to School Network Farm to Early Childhood Education work group. 

[email protected] Resources

Click here to access all of our Growing Minds @ Community Colleges resources. This page is password protected. Please contact Emily Jackson to request access to these resources. 

Join a growing movement!

The following community colleges have already expressed interest in incorporating farm to preschool resources into their early childhood education curriculum. Contact Emily Jackson if you don’t see your college listed here and would like to learn more about accessing Growing Minds @ Community Colleges resources. 

Alamance Community College

Blue Ridge Community College

Brunswick Community College

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute

Cape Fear Community College

Catawba Valley Community College

Central Carolina Community College

Durham Tech Community College

Fayetteville Technical Community College

Haywood Community College

Johnston Community College

Mitchell Community College

Robeson Community College

Rockingham Community College

Rowan Cabarrus Community College 

Sandhills Community College

South Piedmont Community College

Stanly Community College

Surry Community College

Wayne Community College 

Western Piedmont Community College

Wilkes Community College