Teaching Gardens are coming to six schools in the School District of Palm Beach County thanks to a partnership with the American Heart Association to launch the program to help improve students’ attitudes towards fruits and vegetables. What are Teaching Gardens? The Teaching Garden concept combines nutrition education with garden-based learning. It is a real-life laboratory where students learn how to plant seeds, nurture growing plants, harvest produce and ultimately understand the value of good eating habits. Numerous studies have shown that participation in school garden programs can have a positive impact on students’ attitudes toward fruits and vegetables.
To launch the program, each school will host a plant day open to the public and the media. There will be six gardens planted, which are being funded by a local, anonymous donor. The first planting day will take place this Friday, January 10th from 12:45 pm to 1:15 pm at Jupiter Elementary School. The future planting schedule will take place this year as follows: Benoist Farms Elementary (Jan. 15), Glade View Elementary (Jan. 17), Hammock Pointe Elementary (Jan. 22), Grassy Waters Elementary (Jan. 24) and Banyan Creek Elementary (Jan. 27). The Teaching Garden program was created using American Heart Association science and nutrition guidelines coupled with information from gardening and education experts, all thanks to Teaching Garden national founder Kelly Meyer.
Florida faces a crisis around healthy eating habits and childhood obesity. Nearly one in three American children are overweight or obese and American eating habits are leading to modern day “malnutrition,” with diets full of high calorie foods. French fries are the most common source of vegetables consumed by children and make up one-fourth of their vegetable intake. Juice, which may lack important fiber found in whole fruits, accounts for 40 percent of children’s daily fruit intake. For more information please contact Mary Victoria Falzarano with the American Heart Association at Mary.Falzarano@Heart.org or 561-697-6609.
REF: SDPBC (Press Release) Public Affairs Office Jan. 2014