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Food Literacy Academy 2018
Become a meaningful part of your food community!

What’s the Food Literacy Academy?

Demand for Food Literacy Center’s classes outpaces the number of teachers trained. In an effort to build an army of food geniuses, we have created the Food Literacy Academy.

You could be part of the next cohort of Food Geniuses!

This unique training is our solution to the growing demand for our positive approach to food literacy education, and to a greater need to address the health, environmental, and community impacts of our current food system.

The Food Literacy Academy is designed for volunteers to become food ambassadors in the Sacramento area, with a key focus on South Sacramento, a region targeted by The California Endowment as being of greatest need for nonprofit services to tackle childhood obesity. Many children in our classes live in areas that lack access to fresh produce, and many have never tasted several of the foods we eat in class, including broccoli or plums.

You could be part of this growing movement!

The course will emphasize:

  • Key food literacy lessons and activities to take into the classroom or community
  • Classroom management and teaching to audiences of varying ages
  • Nutrition 101
  • Classroom recipe development
  • Cooking in a classroom
  • Food safety & official food handler certificate
  • Our food system
  • And more!

Graduates from the academy will:

  • Become skilled in presenting 1-2 key food literacy lessons.
  • Complete 100 hours of food system volunteer service to the community annually.
  • Be able to answer most basic nutrition and food system questions.
  • Obtain Food Handlers certificate (upon passing exam).
  • Attend quarterly continuing education courses (4 units) to maintain certified status.
  • Pass teacher training (hours count towards volunteer service).

Training Requirements

The academy training will emphasize hands-on activities to reinforce lectures, readings, discussion, and group exercises.

Course Goals:

  • Gain an understanding of food’s impact on health, community, and environment
  • Understand why food literacy is needed in our schools and community
  • Become familiar with healthy and affordable food options that minimize community and environmental costs
  • Learn practical and realistic ways to buy and prepare food in the Sacramento area
  • Develop teaching skills to help extend food literacy knowledge to low-income communities in the Sacramento region
  • Encourage food literacy volunteerism

Instructor’s Role:

  • Provide students with specific information and resources related to course content, hands-on practice, and assignments
  • Actively lead discussions about health, community and the environment
  • Facilitate presentations by guest speakers
  • Supply information about field trips (if applicable)
  • Enthusiastically offer solutions by focusing on positive alternatives to improving food related issues
  • Prepare students to be successful food literacy teachers and volunteers in our community

Student’s Role:

  • Actively participate during class by asking questions, proposing ideas, suggesting solutions and interacting with others.
  • Attend all class sessions, on time, with homework completed. (You will be allowed one absence and still be eligible for your certification. If you miss more than one class, you will be asked to leave the program.)
  • Approach the material enthusiastically and demonstrate motivation by completing all tasks thoroughly and punctually.
  • Complete all homework in advance of class and come prepared for discussion.


  • completion of our Volunteer Application 
  • 3 hours of volunteer service with Food Literacy Center (can be completed concurrently)

The training consists of one day-long retreat, seven 3-hour sessions, and classroom instruction exam.

Training schedule:

Peas check back for our spring academy training schedule!

Attendance at all classes is required. Please check your availability before applying.


Certification is granted after:

  1. Completion of the Food Literacy Academy
  2. Passing a classroom instruction exam in front of a panel.

Students may be eligible to pass at one of two levels of certification and will be deployed to provide food literacy education in our community, each serving a minimum of 2 hours monthly.

  1. Certified Food Literacy Advocate Instructor: certified to lead classes as lead teacher, and head up various community outreach activities, and/or
  2. Certified Food Literacy Advocate Volunteer: certified to assist lead teachers in classes, and head up various community outreach activities.

Please note that completion of the Food Literacy Academy training does not provide automatic certification and those who become certified are not guaranteed to earn both levels of certification. Students must pass a classroom instruction exam in front of a panel in order to become a certified Food Genius, and certification levels are at the discretion of Food Literacy Center’s executive Director.

Additionally, access to Food Literacy Center’s 12-week curriculum is not a part of this training, though the Food Literacy Academy training is required to receive curriculum. Access to curriculum will be granted to trainees who 1) pass the classroom instruction exam and 2) sign a licensee agreement.

Certification must be maintained by completing 4 units of quarterly continuing education.

Please visit our website to learn more about our mission before applying.

Cost of training: $500. Full and partial scholarships are available. Please answer question 15 in the application if you are applying for a scholarship.

About Food Literacy Center

Founded in 2011, we define food literacy as understanding the impact of your food choices on your health, the environment, and our economy.

In Sacramento, 40% of children are obese. Childhood obesity is a leading public health concern that disproportionately affects low-income and minority children. Children who are obese in their preschool years are more likely to be obese in adolescence and adulthood.

It’s much easier to teach a child a good habit than to help an adult break a bad one. So we start young. When kids are taught about healthy choices, they’re more likely to grow up to be health-conscious adults, but just as importantly they’ll help their parents, teachers and our communities to be healthier, too.

Food Literacy Center’s mission is to inspire kids to eat their vegetables. We teach low-income elementary children cooking and nutrition to improve our health, economy and environment. We teach food literacy skills in after-school and libraries, and respond to a limited number of requests from a range of teen, adult and professional audiences as well.

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