Western Growers Foundation Awards Grants to Grow School Gardens
2011 September 13.
IRVINE, Calif. (Sept. 13, 2011)—Imagine a classroom where students witness the lifecycle of a plant instead of just reading about it. Today, Western Growers Foundation awarded grants to nine schools in California and Arizona to help make that happen. Since 2002, the effort has funded more than 500 school gardens throughout California and Arizona.
“When you see a child pull up his first carrot from a school garden and see the pride in his eyes, you really start to understand the magic of this effort,” said Paula Olson of Western Growers Foundation. “Western Growers Foundation is supporting school gardens that not only teach our kids where their food comes from, they also teach children the joys and benefits of eating healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. In the face of an ongoing battle with childhood obesity and unhealthy diets, those lessons are what will really change our world.”
Studies show school gardens increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables by children. The school garden program also allows students to reconnect to the rich agricultural heritage in both Arizona and California. Family farmers that helped fund these grants are featured on Producepedia.com, a website highlighting videos of farmers as well as nutritional information and fun facts on nearly 100 types of fruits, vegetables and nuts. Western Growers Foundation also offers free school garden resources to teachers via its California School Garden Network interactive website.
Grants were awarded to: Dingle Elementary in Woodland, Calif., Bahia Vista School in San Rafael, Calif., Bret Harte Elementary School in Sacramento, Calif., Brunson-Lee Elementary in Phoenix, Ariz., Lawrence E. Jones Middle School in Rohnert Park, Calif., Tucson Village Farm in Tucson, Ariz., W.F. Killip Elementary and Community Learning Center in Flagstaff, Ariz., Point Fermin Marine Science Magnet in San Pedro, Calif., and Shorecliffs Middle School in San Clemente, Calif.
The grants were provided with support from the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company. This is Western Growers Foundation’s fourth year in partnering with Monsanto Fund.
About Western Growers:
Western Growers is an agricultural trade association whose members from Arizona and California grow, pack and ship 90 percent of the fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in California and 75 percent of those commodities in Arizona. This totals about half of the nation’s fresh produce. Western Growers is headquartered in Irvine, Calif.
About Monsanto Fund:
The Monsanto Fund is the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company. Incorporated in 1964, the fund’s primary objective is to improve the lives of people by bridging the gap between their needs and resources. Monsanto Fund grants focus on nutritional well-being through agriculture; science education, primarily on professional development for teachers; and improving the quality of life in communities where Monsanto employees live and work.
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