Gillette Elementary kicks off gardening program

Gillette Elementary kicks off gardening program
Posted on 03/23/2018

Gillette Elementary School teamed up with Texas A&M AgrilLife Extension Service to launch its first-ever gardening program earlier this month.

Parents, community members, administration and staff attended the kick-off event, where they helped third-grade students build and fertilize the garden beds. Together, they planted an array of fruits and vegetables such as cilantro, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, leaf lettuce, baby spinach, cauliflower, broccoli and Swiss chard.

Since the launch, students have already participated in a couple of nutrition classes and have created healthy garden recipes, including “Cinnamon Carrot Crunch” and a red leaf lettuce and strawberry salad. 

Gillette Elementary Teacher Patricia Guerrero said the program will teach students the importance of building healthy habits and how to take responsibility of their own health.

“Students may eat a variety of fruits and vegetables at home, but are unaware of the nutrients they are receiving from these food items,” she said. “As students spend time in the garden, they can see that the carrots they are growing are rich in vitamin A. They are learning that Vitamin A helps keep our heart healthy, but it also allows us to concentrate in school and focus more.”

During the 10-week nutrition and health activity lessons, they will have the opportunity to plant, water and harvest their plants fresh from the garden.

“Through our nutrition classes, students gain a deeper understanding of food on their school lunch trays, and with time, they will grow to eat all their vegetables,” Guerrero added.  

According to Guerrero, students return from the garden with a deep sense of accomplishment for caring for their crops and have invited many of their parents to see the class garden after school.  

“My hope is that our students learn about various vegetable growth cycles, and from this hands-on experience, build strong teamwork skills,” Guerrero said. “In time, I hope they build gardens of their own at home!”


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