Lancaster's first Teaching Garden
Lancaster General Health | 04.30.13
LG Health helped students from Mrs. Rachel Tadlock’s fifth grade class at Wickersham Elementary School in Lancaster prepare soil for the first Teaching Garden in Lancaster County. Back row, from left, Maria Hoover, Wickersham principal, Rachel Tadlock, teacher, Beth Schwartz, LG Health Healthy Weight Management Coordinator, Joseph Torres, Wickersham music teacher and Garden Champion, Chris Salko, American Heart Association and Lighten Up Lancaster County Mascot Crunch.
Students at Wickersham Elementary School in Lancaster are now getting their hands dirty and planting fall harvest vegetables when they go outside to play. It’s all part of the American Heart Association’s Teaching Gardens program, along with support by Lancaster General Health and Lighten Up Lancaster County Coalition.
The school held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, April 26 to celebrate the first Teaching Garden in Lancaster County.
“Getting kids and families to eat healthier by teaching them how much fun it can be to grow their own food is what the Teaching Garden is all about,” said Wickersham Elementary principal Maria Hoover. “Kids are eager to take what they learn in school back to their families. We hope our students will want to share what they learn here and start eating healthier at home.”
The crop of spring harvest vegetables include tomatoes, onions, broccoli, peppers and spinach that students plan to harvest throughout the season.
Today less than one percent of children have ideal cardiovascular health. The Teaching Gardens are a real-life laboratory where students learn how to plant seeds, nurture growing plants, harvest food and ultimately understand the value of good eating habits and the importance of physical activity.
Studies show that health interventions at school positively influence healthy behavior in children. The American Heart Association’s Teaching Gardens program provides hands-on experiences and an interactive curriculum that includes nutrition and physical activity. Children are given the tools to build a foundation of healthy habits and empower their families to do the same.
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