Rover’s Garden “Grows” Thanks to Whole Kids Grant
With fast food and pre-prepped meals available at all hours of the day, it can be easy to lose sight of where our food comes from. Thanks to a grant by the Whole Kids Foundation, third-graders at Rover will continue to learn lessons about how our food grows as well as how we can grow to be kinder to one another.
Deb Wakefield, a third-grade teacher at Rover, has deep roots with the school garden. For over 16 years, Wakefield has been monumental in the garden’s success and continuation.
In 2014, Wakefield took the initiative to have the Rover School Garden certified by the Arizona Department of Health Services. This certification means that the department has determined that the vegetables are safe to eat and can be incorporated into Rover’s cafeteria menu.
The Rover School Garden has blossomed this school year after receiving a $2,000 grant from Whole Kids Foundation in February.
Whole Kids Foundation is a nonprofit organization that has made their mission to improve nutrition for children. Founded in 2011, this group is dedicated to making sure kids make good food choices, and also work to empower families and schools to follow the same mindset.
Over the past four years, Whole Kids Foundation has been continuing their mission to promoting healthful lifestyles through their annual grant program, which has supported more than 3,000 school gardens.
Growing a garden can be an invaluable outdoor teaching tool for nearly every school subject.
The school garden has not only been a great hands-on activity to teach students about taking care of plants and eating healthy, but it also serves as a way to teach important life lessons.
“I like to incorporate the garden into my lessons,” said Wakefield. “I ask my students to plant ‘seeds of kindness’ every day by working as a team and being kind to one another.”
As the school year comes to an end, Wakefield’s third-graders will move on to their next step in school and hopefully carry with them the lessons they learned about forming a love of nature, the value of teamwork, and an appreciation for their vegetables.