Chicago, IL, Chartwells K12 and KidsGardening.org announced today the winners of the 2016 Eat. Learn. Live. & Grow School Garden Grant. Through Chartwells’ exclusive partnership with KidsGardening.org, 23 K-12 schools were selected to participate in the grant program awarding over $27,000 to schools from coast to coast.
Nearly 1500 schools from across the country applied for the grant to either establish a new or enhance an existing school garden. Winners were among an impressive group of creative and comprehensive school garden plans and were selected based on the integration of the garden into the classroom, café and community as well as viability of the proposed plan, and ranked on creativity and executability.
Hillsboro Junior High School in Hillsboro, Texas, was the recipient of the $5,000 grant for its garden program, “Growing/Learning Outdoor Student Space (GLOSS).” The plan illustrated a sustainable garden ready to plant the seeds for a lifetime of health. The two $2,500 grants were awarded to Trion City Schools in Trion, Ga., and Bayless School District in St. Louis, Mo., which outlined plans to use the food from the garden in the café and to transform the space into a community garden, respectively. Other winners’ submissions ranged from using the garden to work with Autistic children and incorporating technology to providing further support on a rooftop garden and creating an outdoor kitchen. The full list of the 2016 Eat. Learn. Live. & Grow School Garden Grant winners is below.
“We were thrilled about the number of submissions we received and it goes to show there’s an intense desire around the country to incorporate school gardens into a child’s health education,” said Rhonna Cass, CEO of Chartwells K12. “While we’re thrilled with the number of schools we can support through the Eat. Learn. Live. & Grow School Garden Grant, our ultimate goal, with the help of our partners and industry experts, is to ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn about their food, which is inspired us to open the grant and webinar series to all schools – not just Chartwells partners.”
For the last 2 years, Chartwells K12 and KidsGardening.org have partnered together under the shared belief that learning through gardening can be a positive part of every child’s education and personal development. The 2016 Eat. Learn. Live. & Grow School Garden Grant and Webinar Series was established as a continuation of this partnership after the need for additional funding and expertise as it relates to schools and gardens was identified. Learn more about and register for the next webinar here.
“Reading through these Eat. Learn. Live. & Grow grant applications we are so heartened by the passion and creativity of the women and men teaching our children.” said KidsGardening.org Executive Director Emily Shipman. “We’re grateful to Chartwells K12 for recognizing and rewarding all of the work they do engaging children with gardens and healthy food. At KidsGardening.org we work with tens of thousands of youth and garden educators and impact millions of children but our work is far from done.”
A full list of the 2016 Eat. Learn. Live. & Grow School Garden Grant winners can be found below:
-Hillsboro Junior High School
-Trion City Schools
-Bayless School District
-Mississippi Sustainable Agriculture Network
-South Whidbey School District
-Youth Villages-Inner Harbour School
-I.S. 10 Horace Greeley Middle School (NYCDOE)
-Lowrance Middle School
-Hampton Roads Academy Lower School
-Brockton public schools
-Hot Springs Middle School
-Gar-Field Senior High School
-Millington Community Schools
-Yerba Buena High School
-Jacksonville School for Autism
-Cove Creek Elementary School
-Westhill High School
-Pocono Mountain East Junior High School
-Muskegon Area Intermediate School District-Wesley School
-John P Stevens High School
-Coupeville School District
-Moreau Catholic High School
About Chartwells K12
Chartwells provides dining programs for school districts, ranging from large public institutions to small charter and private schools and prides itself on extending its dedication, knowledge and enthusiasm into serving each student delicious, great tasting meals. Passionate about local growing and food education, Chartwells launched the eat. learn. live. School Garden Program to collaborate with schools and communities in creating hands on, experiential learning spaces for students to harvest their own fresh produce. Chartwells is built on decades of food and education experience and driven by top culinary, nutrition, wellness and sustainability talent. For more information, visit http://www.ChartwellsK12.com/.
Beginning with 50 youth garden grants in 1982, KidsGardening.org has reached an estimated 1.5 children and contributed close to $4.4 million dollars in funding to youth gardening initiatives across the U.S. The national non-profit creates opportunities for kids to learn through the garden, engaging their natural curiosity and wonder by providing inspiration, know-how, networking opportunities, and top-rated curriculum and educational resources. Believing that learning through gardening creates generations of kids connected to their food and community and engaged in nurturing a healthy planet, KidsGardening.org strives to make sure every child has the opportunity to learn and grow in a garden.