Congdon Park Elementary is excited about its new School Garden! In December 2012, Congdon was awarded a School Garden & Food Literacy Grant through the Duluth Community Garden as part of a Community Transformation Grant from the Statewide Health Improvement Program. Gardens provide great avenues for education on healthy lifestyles and the prevention of obesity and obesity-related diseases. Gardens are also living laboratories, offering hands-on experiences tied to Minnesota State Standards. A school garden committee consisting of teachers, the principal and Environmental Concerns members developed the Garden Vision & Mission.Our Vision: The Congdon Park Community Garden will foster stewardship among students, teachers and community. Our students will learn cross-curricular content from sciences to the arts through best teaching practices and hands on learning. Students will also gain an understanding of nutrition and healthy lifestyles.
Our Mission: The Congdon School Garden is for students to learn how to grow, harvest and prepare healthy foods. We will explore healthy food in the garden, classroom, cafeteria, and community.
* Provide kids with enriching, cross-curricular, hands-on outdoor learning experiences.
* Utilize the garden to support standards-based learning.
* Increase the use of the existing Outdoor Classroom upon returning to renovated school.
* Raise students' interest in healthy foods and willingness to try new fresh foods.
* Engage students in the planning, growing and harvesting of fresh produce.
* Cultivate ecologically, socially and sustainable-minded citizens.
* Provide 3 school-wide garden events
* Offer 3 school-wide cafeteria Taste-Testing days & 3 classroom Testings
* Develop and teach at least 3 engaging K-2 lessons per grade that utilize the garden and are tied to Minnesota State Standards
* Engage at least 75 K-2 students in the planning, growing and harvesting of fresh produce
* Provide 6 school wide Taste-Test or Garden Events impacting over 500 students Outcomes
* More kids will incorporate fruits and vegetables into their diet.
* 75% of the students will be more likely to try new foods by the third taste-test day
* 90% of participating K-2 students will increase their understanding of good nutrition and the origin of fresh food
* To increase teacher garden participation by 100% after the pilot project.
* At least 100% increase in student participation with garden planning, growing and harvesting the second year of the projectThe outcomes will be measured by a pre and post student survey, reduction in food waste, and lesson evaluations.
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