The Produce Moms® and a USDA-funded Family and Consumer Sciences Educator project have announced a joint venture which kicks off today Friday, May 21st with a mini-podcast series. An introductory episode published on May 10th can be heard here.
The mini-podcast series features a new episode each week and runs through June 25th. The series will highlight, and focus on, the shortage of family and consumer science educators, the important role they play, and how they are making a difference in communities across the country. Each 30-minute episode of the podcast will be divided by the topics of recruiting, preparing, and supporting family and consumer sciences educators.
The grant for the National Partnership to Recruit, Support and Prepare Family & Consumer Sciences Educators was written and awarded to address the critical shortage of family and consumer science educators. According to their website, the mission of the partnership is to recruit, prepare and support high-quality FCS educators in schools and communities. Family and Consumer Sciences by definition is the field of study focused on the science and the art of living and working well in our complex world. The disciplines that Family and Consumer Science Educators cover is vast and includes such disciplines as culinary arts, hospitality, food science and nutrition, health management and wellness, human and child development, fashion and textiles, housing and interiors, and family relations to name a few.
“We know that there has been a steady decline in the number of young people going into teaching as a profession for decades now”, explains Lori Taylor, Founder and CEO of The Produce Moms. “The recent pandemic has seen the number of educators retiring and leaving the profession in even larger numbers. While the focus has been on recruiting educators in the core disciplines like math, science, and English, there has been little focus to recruit educators in the area of Family and Consumer Sciences. These are not your grandmother’s Family and Consumer Science educators who taught classes in sewing and cooking to past generations. The impact that the discipline of family and consumer sciences has on our society to teach essential skills is of the utmost importance and the implications far-reaching if that area of education were to vanish. The Produce Moms believes in the mission of the National Partnership, and we can’t wait to get started to support and promote their efforts to recruit family consumer science educators to fill this void.”
“The National Partnership strives to make a significant impact in increasing awareness of career opportunities and access to career preparation resources in Family and Consumer Sciences Education,” said Dr. Jan Bowers, Project Director and retired Dean of the School of Education and Human Ecology at SUNY Oneonta. “There is great synergy created from organizations working together to facilitate a cost-effective, collaborative, and holistic approach for providing and supporting high-quality educators. The National Partnership is excited to add The Produce Moms as a partner in our work to meet state and national workforce needs and ensure that individuals are taught the essential skills to lead better lives, build strong and healthy families, and make contributions to their communities.”