Welch’s is one of our blog sponsors, and when they told us about their new Harvest Grants program, we were eager to share the news with all of you. In conjunction with Scholastic Parent & Child Magazine, Harvest Grants aims to help schools across the U.S. plant and grow fruit and vegetable gardens.
Two K-8 schools in every state will receive a Welch’s Harvest Grant: Welch’s will award 100 garden packages, together valued at $35,000, to the winning schools. Five schools will receive $1,000 packages; 25 schools will receive $500 packages; and 70 schools will receive $250 packages. Each package will be filled with a variety of tools, seeds, and educational materials that will help students connect with nature and better understand the origins of their food supply.
Between leaders like Michelle Obama whose White House Garden ignited the public’s interest in backyard vegetable gardens and chefs like Alice Waters who founded the Edible Schoolyard, there is no doubt in our minds that the popularity of fresh produce straight from the backyard garden is growing (even Liz, a self-professed plant killer, sowed her first backyard garden last spring with her family).
Getting kids out of the classroom and into the dirt teaches children about sustainability and where their food comes from, and it motivates them to eat nutritious fruits and veggies. They learn as they dig, and it’s fun!
If this sounds like something you think YOUR school would be interested in starting (or if they already have a garden that you think could use a little nurturing), tell your children’s teachers about the Grant (they’re the ones who can apply). Entries will be judged by experts at the National Gardening Association, and the deadline for submission is February 6, 2010. For all the details and the official rules go to the Scholastic Harvest Grants page. By the way, our friends at Welch’s tell us the application will only take 10 minutes to fill out!