Seeding Our Future
By Anne Marie Kuchera, Grow Pittsburgh Board Vice President and Pittsburgh Colfax parent
Did you know that Grow Pittsburgh’s School Garden Program now supports 33 schools in Allegheny County? This means that 16,583 students in our county now have access to a garden at their school!
Since 2007, Grow Pittsburgh has integrated gardening and cooking lessons into the classroom of pre-k through high school students. Currently Grow Pittsburgh works with 24 of the 54 Pittsburgh Public Schools, historically at Pittsburgh Colfax, Dilworth Traditional Academy, Pittsburgh Faison, and Pittsburgh Montessori.
At these four Flagship Schools, Grow Pittsburgh’s Garden Educators develop curriculum to teach gardening and cooking lessons that infuse classroom objectives and support the development and education of the whole child. The lessons promote healthy eating, cooperation, physical activity, and a sense of community and environmental stewardship. Garden Educators succeeded in encouraging over 95% of students to try a new food or recipe from the garden this past winter!
As a member of Grow Pittsburgh’s board, a Colfax parent, and a health care professional, I am thrilled with what my children have learned as part of their school garden experiences and I am proud to support the work of this organization. While our school PTA helps support the cost of the garden program, it doesn’t begin to cover the cost of a full-time Garden Educator to maintain the garden and facilitate weekly lessons.
Along with my fellow board members, we have raised $5,000 to support the School Garden Program. We are asking you to help us teach the youngest stewards of our city where their food comes from and how to grow their own by matching this amount so we can reach our goal of raising $10,000 in June.
Our children are the future of our great city. Let’s seed their future with knowledge of the food system and foster a love of growing fresh and wholesome food.