Something new, exciting, and fresh is happening at Wheeler High School! This spring, the Wildcat Nation is rolling out the Wheeler Fresh Collaborative, a cross-curricular collaboration by teachers and students whose goals are to increase community involvement and provide food essentials when and where needed. This STEAM initiative (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) was originally conceived as a “farm to table” type program but has since evolved to include a food pantry started by Wheeler students and eventually supplemented with contributions from the surrounding community. The Wheeler Fresh Collaborative will utilize expertise from Wheeler’s culinary, horticulture. environmental science, drafting, graphic design, and marketing classes to help ensure fellow Wildcats students have a reliable source of food when needed.
From concept to realization, many classes have helped develop the Wheeler Fresh Collaborative. Drafting students designed the layout of the grow beds for Horticulture. Environmental Science students are studying the soil and growing environment. Horticulture students are growing herbs and vegetables for Culinary. Culinary students are preparing, cooking, and serving the meal. Graphic Design students are creating logos and visuals. Marketing students are branding and promoting the Wheeler Fresh Collaborative program and events. Wheeler’s Girls Who Code Club members are creating an online ordering system for the Food Pantry.
To officially kick off the Wheeler Fresh Collaborative, Wheeler is hosting a Dinner Theater event this Spring. On April 26th, Wheeler theater students will perform Annie following a limited seating dinner hosted, prepared, and served by Wheeler students. “We hope this dinner theater event will showcase the sense of community Wheeler offers which has enabled a program like the Wheeler Fresh Collaborative to exist,” boasts Kelly Feddersen, Sports and Entertainment Marketing teacher and one of the leaders of the Wheeler Fresh Collaborative. The Wheeler Fresh Collaborative hopes to spread their mission through a fun and entertaining evening.
As the program grows, Wheeler Fresh Collaborative hopes to sustain a food pantry with both Wheeler grown food and other nonperishable items to aid the 41% of Wheeler students who benefit from free and reduced lunch. The Wheeler Fresh Collaborative helps ease this challenge through a program that demonstrates what can be accomplished when students work together, building a true sense of community.
If you would like to attend the Dinner Theater, tickets can be purchased at www.showtix4u.com/events/14519. The event is Friday, April 26th, beginning with the dinner at 5:30pm, and the performance Annie at 7pm. Tickets are $50 for the dinner + Annie. Tickets for Annie alone are $15. If you would like to donate funds, nonperishable food items or help in other ways, please email Kelly Feddersen at Kelly.Feddersen@cobbk12.org.
This article originally appeared in the March issue of the EAST COBBER magazine, on page 12. Click here to view the digital edition.