Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

Are you interested in teaching kids more about food, gardening, and cooking at your school? One option is to become an Edible Schoolyard site. The program, started by Alice Waters, turns open space at schools into gardens, and then teaches the students at the school about growing, cooking, and eating food on site.

What can your students learn by growing and eating fresh food like these tomatoes?

So far, Edible Schoolyard has one location in NYC: PS 216, right here in Brooklyn. But they are looking to expand, and plan to have one school in each borough next school year.

That’s where you come in. If you work at a public school located in the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens or Staten Island, you could apply. Your school must serve, at a minimum, kindergarten through fifth grade and be a Title I school. Accepted schools receive tons of help and resources to turn their available space into a teaching garden.

For more information about the program and to apply, go to Edible Schoolyard NYC’s website. Applications are due by February 28, 2012- good luck!

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Moving away from Brooklyn, you could include the current White House Garden in your garden study. It is traditional for the First Lady to adopt a cause and promote it throughout her term as First Lady. With Laura Bush, a former librarian, the cause was books and literacy. With Michelle Obama, a notoriously fit woman, the cause is healthy lifestyles including physical activity and eating well. Lots more information can be found on the Let’s Move! website, but here are some ideas you might use in your classroom.

  • There’s a children’s book about the White House Garden, First Garden: The White House Garden and How It Grew by Robin Gourley. The book covers historical gardens at the White House including John Adams and Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden during World War II, but then spends the bulk of the time on Mrs. Obama and the process she and the current garden went through. Students will link their own gardening experience to hers and learn about the current garden at the White House.
  • The Let’s Move! website has 5 simple steps for schools, 5 steps for parents, 5 steps for kids, and steps for others (chefs, health care providers) that really help individuals kick-start their health initiatives. Check out the one for schools, which includes a plan to help start a garden.
  • If you are in Washington, DC, tours of the garden are offered in the spring and fall. Information about the fall tours this past October is available on the White House’s website, which is where future tour dates will be announced.
  • For day care centers, check out Let’s Move Childcare with ideas for encouraging a healthy lifestyle at your day care center.
  • There are lots of resources for eating healthy and planning meals which you could use to plan a parent’s night.
  • In addition, there’s an official cookbook, A White House Garden Cookbook: Healthy Ideas from the First Family to Your Family by Clara Silverstein.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Brooklyn Children’s Museum is part of all this, as a member of Let’s Move! Museums & Gardens. Check back for future details about what Brooklyn Children’s Museum is doing to help kids live a healthy and active life.

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So, why all these recent posts about composting? Here are some reasons you might teach about decay or compost in your classroom:

  • Study of decay is great for the scientific method. Get students to ask what will happen and why, then observe, and record. Try out different decay conditions – how is decomposition affected by light, water, air?
  • It links to your science curriculum. In New York City, you could teach about decay in the context of seasonal trees (kindergarten), worm anatomy (1st grade), soil (2nd grade), plant and animal adaptations (3rd grade), etc…
  • Proper compost is used to grow new food. Teaching about compost and its role in agriculture supplements study of nutrition and gets kids involved in their food production, which in turn helps them eat healthier.
  • It prepares students to be act sustainably. Recycling is dandy, but is not the full solution to waste management. Compost eliminates organic waste from landfills, reducing their volume, and at the same time provides a free fertilizer for soil. Compost is thus a great use of resources.

These are some reasons to teach about compost. What would you add?

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