Growing Lifelong Healthy Habits
It's always exciting when a pilot program takes flight, and Evergreen's Kindergarten Garden Discovery program, a project in partnership with the Western Maryland Health System and Mt. Savage School, did just that in the 2015-2016 school year.
Through pre and post-testing, Evergreen's program demonstrated a 15% increase in student food science/nutrition literacy. Students were found to retain that knowledge (77% retention rate), and were positively influenced to consume more fruits (44% increase) and vegetables (11%). The program started with 35 students, and included:
- An introductory student field trip to Evergreen to highlight the basics of good nutrition, where food comes from, and how it grows;
- Weekly classroom activities;
- Quarterly Family Fun Nights;
- Monthly parent/student “eat the rainbow” lunches;
- Classroom teaching tools; and
- The creation of a schoolyard garden.
Mt. Savage will continue the program in the fall, and South Penn is adopting the program for their 2016-17 students (more than 70 children) and has asked Evergreen to implement its pre-K Growing in the Garden program for its Judy Center students (more than 75 children).