SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

PRESS RELEASE

 

CONTACT:  Chi Kim, Principal @ Pt. Dume     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

310.457.9370                                                     24 MAR 2010

 

POINT DUME MARINE SCIENCE SCHOOL STUDENTS UNITE WITH HOLLYWOOD STARS, SPORTS HEROES, AND VETERANS TO LAUNCH THE TEACHING GARDEN – FIRST OF 1,000 SCHOOLS

 

National Program Utilizes Local Elementary Students to Advocate for Healthy School Lunches and Battle Obesity One School at a Time

 

INGLEWOOD, CA (March 22, 2010) – On Monday, March 22, entertainment, sports, and culinary stars will come together to launch the Teaching Garden, a program focused on nutrition and fitness education for young children, at Kelso Elementary School in Inglewood, California.  The program was piloted at Malibu’s Point Dume Marine Science School, where marine and environmental sciences are integrated with organic gardening to promote ecologically sound food and lifestyle choices.  Along with Teaching Garden founder and Hollywood philanthropist Kelly Meyer, professional volleyball player Gabrielle Reece, LA Laker Derek Fisher, Iron Chef’s Cat Cora and actor Tobey Maguire all were at Kelso Elementary to launch the program and help students understand the importance of how a few small changes can make a life saving difference. 

 

Inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign (www.letsmove.gov), Kelly Meyer created the Teaching Garden to reinforce these ideals by creating a living laboratory. In this garden, students, through the simple process of putting a seed into the earth, nurturing it and ultimately harvesting the food, will learn about efforts and results, delayed gratification and cause and effect. The ultimate goal: hands-on exploration of life sciences that lead to one’s positive choices for health and fitness.

The goal for the Teaching Garden is to create a network of 1000 schools within the next two years who will have implemented the program, sharing curriculum, ideas and communicating with each other.  This will occur through a partnership with www.takepart.com, the Social Action Network of Participant Media.  This innovative partnership will allow participating schools to receive the materials and curriculum to start the program and connect with other participating schools.  

 

The Farmer-Veteran Coalition (www.farmvetco.org), a team of trained organic farmers, will participate in the Teaching Garden, helping the students bring the garden to life.  The Teaching Garden has also teamed with GrowingGreat (www.growinggreat.org), a nonprofit nutrition education organization that will provide a year-long nutrition curriculum which will support the long-term goals and sustainability of the Teaching Garden. 

 

The kick-off event for the Teaching Garden at Kelso included a morning nutrition/cooking class with Iron Chef’s Cat Cora (www.catcoracooks.com), planting  of the organic garden, fitness demonstration with Kelso’s 700 students by Gabrielle Reece (www.thehoneyline.com) and a discussion on the importance of nutrition as a an athlete with Derek Fisher (www.DerekFisher2.com). Tobey Maguire spoke about healthy food choices and inspired the kids to activate their own healthy school lunch campaign by writing letters to the school’s Superintendant and school board. In line with the principles of the Teaching Garden, lunch was provided by Chipotle (www.chipotle.com) a healthy alternative fast food choice. 

 

Additionally, students from Point Dume Marine Science School (www.pointdume.smmusd.org), lead by principal Chi Kim, communicated digitally via Skype with Kelso students. The interactive session was the start of a pay-it-forward experience as the children from Point Dume, who have already created their Teaching Garden, will be able to offer tips and advice to their counterparts at Kelso Elementary to successfully complete their own.  Point Dume students, Malibu High School students, and Point Dume Gardening parent volunteers helped over 700 students plant their organic garden led by the Farmer Veteran Coalition.

 

After Kelso’s garden was complete, the school’s first Smart Board, provided by the Teaching Garden program, will connect students from partner schools, to compare and contrast growth patterns in the gardens and share stories about their discoveries on their journey to growing and eating slow food harvested by their own hands. Then it will be Kelso’s turn to pay-it-forward, inspiring other schools to stay active and make better eating choices.

 

For more information about Teaching Garden or the March 22nd event please visit www.takepart.com/teachinggarden.

 

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SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

1651 16TH Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404

ph: 310.450.8338; fax: 310.581.1138

www.smmusd.org