School Garden Program Update ~ 2017

Teaching students about food and where it comes from is a primary goal of Garden-To-Table (GTT) programming. Studies show that school gardens help kids make connections between their health and what they eat. This is becoming increasingly important with reports detailing that for the first time in the U.S. the current generation of children is expected to have shorter lifespans than their parents, in large part because of what they are eating.

Providing hands-on opportunities for students to plant, harvest and learn about food benefits classroom learning and gives students the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy choices.

2017 Highlights

  • We heard your requests for greater networking opportunities between GTT schools and created a GTT Facebook page for lead parent volunteers. Now schools have the opportunity to reach out to other GTT experts for advice on fundraising, volunteer recruitment, setting up onsite farmers markets and more.
  • We established school GTT bulletin boards to deepen our connection with school communities and highlight the incredible learning opportunities taking place in the garden. Growe will update bulletin boards seasonally. BCSIS’s GTT bulletin board is next to the Trip Tracker one: across from the showcases in the hallway outside the office door.
  • Over the summer, several of our GTT schools worked with us to create training workshops on caring for their school gardens. We plan to share this with our GTT community through online videos available on school webpages in 2018.
  • We are launching a new and improved website next year! Look for improvements in speed and easier access to the program information you need.
  • Our first Colorado Gives Day was a resounding success raising $4,040 in community donations.
  • Our Growe Garden Gala event raised over $52,000 in community donations to help support expanding our programs to more children and schools in BVSD.
  • Our partner schools continue to amaze us with the impactful ways they are using funds from selling their 3rd grade lesson harvests. This year High Peaks donated their market proceeds to help with hurricane relief. Flatirons Elementary donated over 128 lbs. of freshly harvested garden produce to the EFAA food bank.
  • Lesson Survey completion continues to be an area of focus. Providing documented information on program impact allows us to apply for local and national grants. This fundingisessentialtoourabilitytoprovidequalityprogrammingtoschoolssoplease continue to encourage teachers to complete this important final step of the lesson activity.
  • We gathered GTT Parent Leads together for our 1st Annual Volunteer Appreciation Lunch in November. Parent volunteers are a vital part of GTT program success and we wanted to show our appreciation for all the support and coordination they provide!

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