The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation’s mission is to help kids grow healthy with school gardening – and they’re doing it in a big way. The foundation is handing out grants to build 24 school gardens in 24 cities in 24 hours, and Plano ISD‘s Mitchell Elementary is one of them.
This Saturday, Sept. 23, students, parents, teachers and local Sprouts volunteers are gathering to construct a community garden from 8 a.m. to noon.
Mitchell Elementary was selected from a pool of over 3,000 nominations by Sprouts customers, a three-month process involving interviews and vetting. According to Sprouts, over 20 parents, teachers and team members from Sprouts Store #163 nominated the school.
“Sprouts is committed to providing children with hands-on educational experiences that shape how they think about food. We believe that our foundation’s efforts to make these connections will play a pivotal role for children to develop an understanding of the importance of healthy eating,” said Nick Konat, president and chief operating officer of Sprouts. “We are also very excited for our team members to give back to their local communities on September 23 as we build these learning gardens in 24 hours.”
In addition to funding the building of the garden, the foundation will support training for each school’s educators to learn how to effectively incorporate the garden into teaching practices.
“This program is exciting because we are able to invite our customers to help us connect with new schools through the nomination process,” said Lyndsey Waugh, executive director of the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation. “These schools represent 24 incredible communities, comprised of teachers and students, that will now have access to an outdoor garden, where classroom lessons can be brought to life through hands-on learning, and where students can experience the magic of watching seeds sprout, and fresh fruits and vegetables grow. We are glad we can play a role in making this possible.”
Mitchell Elementary received $15,000-20,000 toward garden construction and $5,000 toward nutrition education lessens. The new garden will feature eight raised beds, a worm farm and an outdoor classroom. According to Michelle Stack, the Garden Champion for Mitchell Elementary, the school is expecting approximately 20 Sprouts volunteers and 30-40 PTA and parent volunteers from the school.