This Friday, September 29th, the American Heart Association and the Aetna Foundation will team up with area schools to build Teaching Gardens. The planting boxes will be built at PS 52 Sheepshead Bay Elementary School in Brooklyn by staff and volunteers from both organizations.
Students will plant fall vegetables including Broccoli, Kale, and other hearty plants. The program includes materials needed to plant and care for the real-life laboratory and provides garden-themed lessons in nutrition, math, science, and other subjects for years to come.
The American Heart Association Teaching Gardens program encompasses a core belief that when you educate children about nutritional choices, and challenge them to make small changes to improve their health, they will build a foundation of healthy habits – and even use them to empower their families at home. Lifelong habits are created during childhood, and the American Heart Association Teaching Gardens provide a unique experience for elementary school students to gain knowledge of planting seeds, nurturing plants, harvesting produce and ultimately choosing healthier eating habits.
Teaching Gardens were also funded in Hartford at Jumoke Academy, Wish and Fox Elementary in Hartford Conn., as well as Baraka Community Wellness in Roxbury and PJ Kennedy Elementary in Boston, Mass.
The gardens will not only offer education on nutrition and healthy food choices, they will ultimately help the students be more productive in school. Studies also show that normal weight children have higher scholastic achievement, less absenteeism and higher physical fitness levels than their obese counterparts. In fact, one study suggests that nutritional education, combined with garden-based learning, is more effective than either alone in changing students’ fruit or vegetable intake.
The Teaching Gardens program is part of a larger American Heart Association “Healthy For Good” healthy living initiative, designed to help Americans understand what it means to be healthy, and to take-action.
For more information about the Teaching Gardens program visit www.heart.org/teachinggardens.
Location: PS 52 Sheepshead Bay, 2675 E 29th street, Brooklyn, NY
Date and Time: Friday, September 29 from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.