Chartwells K12 has launched the “eat. learn. live” School Garden Program in conjunction with KidsGardening.org, a resource of the National Gardening Association (NGA). A comprehensive resource to help guide educators through the process of successfully developing, growing and sustaining school gardens regardless of space, climate or resources they may have currently available, “eat. learn. live” offers a detailed garden playbook loaded with instructive and creative gardening tips, nutrition education materials and guidance for building community garden support.
"We know from our experience and our work with KidsGardening.org that school gardens are powerful settings to teach students about healthy eating and where their food comes from,” said Rhonna Cass, CEO of Chartwells K12, in a release announcing the program. “The launch of the eat. learn. live. School Garden Program helps all schools create gardens as part of our mission to nurture the minds and bodies of a generation of students.”
As part of their exclusive partnership, Chartwells K12 and KidsGardening.org teamed up earlier this year to support eight pilot school gardens in diverse climates and settings around the country. Learnings from those gardens shaped the “eat. learn. live.” School Garden Program, including identifying a range of resources that will help make gardening possible in every school.
"Gardens create hubs of experiential learning for school communities and we are thrilled to be able to inspire and support all schools through the eat. learn. live. School Garden Program,” said NGA Executive Director Jennifer Tedeschi in the announcement release. “Through the combined expertise of KidsGardening.org and Chartwells K12 we are able to truly connect students with their food and inspire a love for fresh fruits and vegetables that will last a lifetime.”
In addition to the pilot gardens and the “eat. learn. live” School Garden Program, Chartwells K12 and KidsGardening.org have created a variety of gardening and nutrition educational resources and a “Garden 1, 2, 3” quick start guide for those considering starting a garden. The organizations will also host webinars open to the public to walk through sections of the “eat. learn. live” School Garden Program with detailed expert instruction and Q&A for educators.
The “eat. learn. live.” School Garden Program also includes strategies for administrators to gather support for a school garden, form a garden committee, craft goals, and integrate the garden into the curriculum of a variety of subjects, such as science, English, math, and history.