A lot of food is grown in San Mateo County, but many students have never planted, grown, harvested or cooked their own food. We’ve set a goal to have a garden in every school because we believe that school gardens are a wonderful and important place for our students to learn where food comes from, what makes healthy food healthy, and why it’s important to eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
What does the research say?
Research shows that school gardens are a good way to teach kids about health. Children who participate in school garden programs are much more likely to eat fruits and vegetables and teach their families about healthy eating than children who don’t.
School gardens have also been found to:
- Serve as outdoor learning labs. Taking class outside to plant and harvest brings lessons to life, and students can use their math, English and science skills out in the garden and complete assignments to reinforce what they learn.
- Benefit all students, especially those who learn by doing
- Lead to higher academic achievement. Gardens positively impact standardized test scores, daily attendance, behavior, and learning.
- Encourage kids to eat fruits and vegetables kids and adopt healthy eating attitudes.
In San Mateo County, 58 % of our public schools have gardens because many parent volunteers and enthusiastic teachers in our county have stepped up to lead efforts at their schools. It would be great to see more, so that we have a garden in every school, where every child in San Mateo County can eat something he or she has grown.
To learn more or get involved:
- Read “A Garden in Every School,” a brochure created by The Food System Alliance.
- Contact a member of the San Mateo County Food System Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact a Master Gardener at email@example.com or (650) 726-9059
- Visit http://thehealproject.nationbuilder.com/school_farm to learn more about the two farms open to San Mateo County students, and to determine if your school is eligible for a transportation subsidy.
- Attend the Food System Alliance School and Afterschool Garden Recognition Ceremony on April 28. Visit www.sanmateocofsa.org for event details.
- Discuss school gardens on Facebook: www.facebook.com/smchealth