School Gardens - engaging Chicago youth in growing their own healthy food
May Tsupros, Gardeneers
In 2014, after experiencing first hand how poor childhood nutrition and lack of access to healthy food effected student achievement in and out of the classroom, two Chicago teachers founded an organization to help scholars in schools across Chicago connect with healthy food in school gardens.
Gardeneers cultivates customized school garden programs to ensure each space, and the students and communities who care for it, connect with healthy food and grow to their full potential.
Their unique model uses TWO garden educators and all the tools and resources to provide weekly hands-on garden programming through the entire, March - November, Chicago growing season; even during the summer months, engaging at-risk youth in a positive learning environment.
Their curriculum focuses on nutrition, nature, and community, and grades K-8th are provided learning experiences during the school day whereas high school curriculum is focused on entrepreneurial agriculture skills during after school time. All ages of students are provided lots of opportunities to grow and taste healthy fruits and vegetables in their garden and in their school's cafeteria.
Produced by: Greater Chicago Newsmakers Team