WG Foundation Funds More Schools To Spread the Word

More California and Arizona school children will have access to healthy snacks, nutrition education and information about where their food comes from thanks to the Western Growers Foundation (WGF).

In July, the foundation awarded $15,000 in school garden grants, educator resources and drip irrigation kits (courtesy of John Deere Water) to 10 alifornia garden education programs. Additionally it awarded $1,250 and a one day training program for three teachers to each of 10 Arizona schools.

WGF awards funds in Arizona and California through several distinct garden grant programs. This round of California grants was made possible through funding provided by the Monsanto Fund. The Arizona School Garden and Teacher Training program is funded, in part, through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, through the Arizona Department of Agriculture. For this second round of funding in 2010, WGF awarded grants to both after schools programs and schools, as a way to reach an even broader group of children throughout

“We are committed to raising a garden in every school throughout California and Arizona,” said WGF Administrator Briana Lewis. “We found, however, that there are many dedicated organizations and eager children participating in after school programs where a garden would provide life-long benefits.”

WGF awarded grants in California to:

  • Boys and Girls Club of North San Mateo County South San Francisco
  • Fort Bragg Middle School, Fort Bragg
  • Horace Mann Elementary School, Oakland
  • Marie Curie Elementary School, San Diego
  • Melrose Math, Science and Technology Magnet Elementary School, Los Angeles
  • New City Public Schools, Long Beach
  • Raymond Cree Middle School, Palm Springs
  • San Jose State University & Notre Dame High School, San Jose
  • Smart Moves Education and Enrichment Program, Oakland
  • Tule Elk Park Child Development Center, San Francisco

In Arizona, the grants were awarded to:

  • Ajo Elementary, Ajo
  • Basha High School, Chandler
  • Kyrene de las Brisas Elementary, Chandler
  • Pinon Elementary School (PUSD), Pinon
  • Puente de Hozho Elementary, Flagstaff
  • Sahuaro High School, Tucson
  • Tavan Elementary School, Phoenix
  • Tucson High Magnet School, Tucson
  • Wildcat Charter School, Tucson
  • Wright Elementary, Tucson

WGF provides financial support to garden enhanced nutrition education programs.These programs serve to connect students to the source of their food and to encourage the increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. This is one remedy to the epidemic of childhood obesity. Current research provides strong evidence that garden-enhanced education increases academic achievement, improves test scores, and increases children’s onsumption

of and preference for fruits and vegetables. These gardens become outdoor classrooms where teachers enrich the curriculum in more than a dozen subjects with hands-on, real world learning.

Western Growers members created WGF to give back to the residents of California and Arizona who have contributed to their success over the years.