310.452.2364 ext. 334 22 APR 2010
On Monday, April 26, the Will Rogers Learning Community of Santa Monica will be welcoming The Teaching Garden to its school. Rogers will be doing the nationwide kick off for AARP volunteers working in school gardens. On Saturday, parents and other community volunteers will be making planting boxes and getting the soil ready for students to plant fruits and vegetables in the Monday event. The Saturday volunteers will also be cleaning out and preparing current planting areas to ready them for planting.
The Teaching Garden is a program begun at Point Dume Marine Science School in Malibu. From there, the program expanded to Kelso Elementary School in Inglewood, CA. Kelso, a Title I school, was chosen as the kick off school for what is hoped to become a national program of 1,000 schools. Rogers, also a Title I school, was chosen as the second school, and the school to be the national kick off for AARP volunteers in the gardens. While parents and volunteers are building the boxes and cleaning out the bedding gardens, the students will be doing the planting, maintaining, and harvesting of the crops and, of course, eating the work of thier efforts.
Rogers is a natural choice for The Teaching Garden as it already has a focus on healthy eating through a grant written by SMMUSD, which brings in fresh fruits and vegetables every day as a snack to every child. Children have learned to eat and accept foods they have never eaten before. Dona Richwine of the district office has been the major force in bringing this to the school district. The fresh fruit and salad bar in the district also complements healthy eating at Rogers and the other SMMUSD schools.
Monday's activities include working with AARP volunteers to plant the garden beds; a third grade class watching and then eating healthy food prepared by a creative chef; fifth grade classes skyping with other fifth graders at Kelso and Pt Dume; an outdoor assembly led by nationally known athletes with fun and healthy activities for the students. There will be many other surprises during the morning, including a healthy lunch for fifth grade students prepared by Chipotle.
In an effort to make all students more active and end childhood obesity, The Teaching Garden may prove to be life changing for the students who participate. It is certain to change some attitudes and opinions about food and change them for the better.
To read more about The Teaching Garden program, visit http://www.takepart.com/teachinggarden.
ph: 310.450.8338; fax: 310.581.1138