School Gardens in Hawaii
A 2012 study conducted by the Hawaii Farm to School and School Garden Hui found that there are 168 school gardens across the state with 21,577 participating students, 830 teachers, 1,500 volunteers, on 30 acres of land! Fourteen schools on Kauai participated. That’s great news because this past week, I’ve been checking out the Hawaii DOE cafeteria food photos Facebook page, and the food our kids are being served I wouldn’t give to my dogs!
Hawaii school garden students grew and harvested healthy snacks; created farmers markets; integrated science; math; social studies; literature and arts; and learned social skills and teamwork. Research indicates that children who participate in school gardens and farm to school programs develop healthier lifestyles and life-long eating habits, improve academic performance, provide real-life learning about sustainability and ecoliteracy while creating stronger community connections.
I don’t think we need studies to prove this. I think we all know that gardening is excellent exercise for body, mind and spirit and good, wholesome foods come from it. Our school gardens need support. If you’d like to help, or want more
information, visit the Kokua Foundation Hawaii website.
March 15 is the final day to sign up for the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program for the School Year 2013-2014, so tell your principals about it. All schools received an email a few weeks ago from the DOE Office of Child Nutrition and they have the application, but they have not had filled it out and sent it in.