PS 214 – The Cadwallader Colden School hosted their Harvest Day to finish their planning season for their Zurich sponsored American Heart Association Teaching Garden as part of an education initiative to help build healthy bodies and minds. The Harvest Day Celebration was held on Wednesday, October 22nd and the rain couldn’t stop the celebration. Held indoors, children in the Garden Club tasted the fresh herbs that were grown, played games and helped mulch leaves for the garden.
The PS 214 Teaching Garden was created using American Heart Association science and nutrition guidelines coupled with information from gardening and education experts. The program combines nutrition education with garden based learning. It is a real-life laboratory where students learn how to plant seeds, nurture growing plants, harvest produce and ultimately understand the value of good eating habits.
Numerous studies have shown that participation in school garden programs can have a positive impact on student’s attitudes toward fruits and vegetables. PS 214 staff and students are excited to cultivate healthy kids, who have proven to perform higher.
“The school and the community are so proud of what we have accomplished here. It is great to see so excited to get kids involved in growing and eating healthier foods,” said Principal Denise Fuccillo.
The program is designed to encourage healthy diets in young children and to help combat childhood obesity, which has reached epidemic proportions. Today, nearly one in three children and adolescents in the U.S. is overweight or obese.
Some experts predict, today’s children are not expected to live as long as their parents – the first time ever for an entire generation’s life expectancy to drop. Currently, less than 1% of the population, and almost NO CHILDREN in the United States ages 5-19, have ideal health as it relates to the Healthy Diet Score.
“The Teaching Garden program curriculum challenges students to make small changes, including healthier food choices, to improve their health,” said Justine Kim, Director of Community Relations for the American Heart Association “The goal is to make healthy foods fun, and provide opportunities for children to try and enjoy healthy foods. We hope this leads to lifelong healthy habits.”
For more information on getting a Teaching Garden in your school, contact the American Heart Association at 212-878-5928 or visit online at www.heart.org/teachinggarden .