Are the kids in your school talking about salad and raspberry dressing before lunch? That’s what’s happening at Veterans Memorial Elementary in North Naples. This school decided to plant a school garden so the students could plant and grow their own food. The goals, to save money and educate children about healthy food, have been met with enthusiasm on the part of all.
The program was suggested by a mother and seconded by the whole community. The children are proud to raise their own food and are learning good nutrition by living the experience. They get fresh, wholesome food in their cafeteria. The hands-on experience of working in their own garden builds self confidence from achieving through hard work and an understanding of delayed gratification. It is also a godsend economically in times when all school budgets are tight.
According to an article about the school and its program in the Macro Eagle, about 60% of the students chose salad for lunch on the day the reporter visited the school. The school sought advice and partnership in the endeavor from their school district, master gardeners and a local foundation. The children benefit by an increased desire to learn about the science related to growing food, time spent outside working in the garden and healthy food.