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Education encourages garden program with grants to local schools | Schools

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Education encourages garden program with grants to local schools
Schools
Education encourages garden program with grants to local schools

 

The Idaho State Department of Education is awarding $26,000 to help eight schools across Idaho build school gardens, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna announced today.

Each school will receive a grant of $2,000 to build a garden that will help promote nutrition, science and agricultural education.

“Idaho has offered school garden grants for several years and seen great results. With a school garden, students can learn critical lessons about nutrition, math, science and many other subject areas in a hands-on learning environment,” Superintendent Luna said.

Research shows that garden-based education can increase academic achievement and often result in higher test scores among students.

In addition to these eight schools, five childcare centers also funded through U.S. Department of Agriculture funding will be awarded school garden grants.

With the most recent grant funding, the schools and childcare centers will implement a wide range of innovative educational activities, from outdoor classrooms to service-learning projects.  Each grant site will also be paired with a horticulture expert from the University of Idaho Extension to serve as garden mentors.

The grants are funded through a Child Nutrition Programs Team Nutrition federal grant. The grant requires that nutrition education be a part of every school garden plan, and every grant site has to allow students to taste the foods grown in the garden.

The State Department of Education will work with these schools throughout the year to create a best practices guide that other Idaho schools can use in future years if they want to incorporate a successful gardening program into the school curriculum.

The State Department of Education awarded school garden grants to 11 schools in 2008 and to 15 schools in 2010. Based on the great results these schools saw with their school gardens, the Department created the How Our Gardens Grow publication, which is posted online at http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/cnp/schoolgarden/.

This booklet highlights the benefits of school gardens as well as how each school used its grant funding to improve student nutrition and learning.

The following is a list of the 13 sites awarded garden grants this year:

 

School / Childcare Center

School District / Location

Heritage Middle School

Meridian Joint School District

Moscow Charter School

Moscow Charter School

Kellogg Middle and Sunnyside Elementary

Kellogg School District

Borah High School

Boise School District

Fernan Elementary

Coeur d’Alene School District

Parma Learning Center

Parma School District

Troy Elementary

Troy School District

Heritage Community Charter School

Heritage Community Charter School

Little People’s Academy

Idaho Falls

Tator Tots Childcare

American Falls

Mountain Home Air Force Base Youth Programs

Mountain Home

Valley Crises Center

Nampa

Ms. Amy’s Daycare

Fruitland

For more information, visit http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/cnp/schoolgarden/.

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