The federal government is giving out $1 million in grants for school gardens. As part of The People’s Garden School Pilot Program, schools or other public and not-for-profit organizations which meet certain criteria will receive money to plan and develop a garden and to create lesson plans and assess the learning outcomes associated with the garden.
Why Have a School Garden?
A school garden can be used to teach nutrition, ecology, biology, math, and economics. Many kids don’t know where their food comes from. We learned on Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution that a lot of first-graders can’t even identify various fruits and vegetables. A garden also gets kids out in the fresh air.
The produce from one of The People’s Gardens may be used for school food, student households, local food banks, or senior center nutrition programs.
One of the purposes of the program is to identify successful school gardens and then build a curriculum which can be sent to interested schools for starting their own gardens.
Qualifying for The People’s Garden grants
In order for a school to qualify for The People’s Garden grants, at least 50% of the students must be eligible for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program.
The school garden can be run by any of a number of non-profit groups, including but not limited to the school itself, another school (for instance, a group of high school students run a garden at a local elementary school), a church group, or the local garden club. The deadline for application is 08 Nov 2010.
More information and resources
Image by Pink Sherbet Photography, used with a Creative Commons license.