The Growe Foundation has been at the forefront of a national movement to teach children about healthy eating and caring for the environment since 2006. Our vision is to unite people around a shared goal of creating healthier children, schools, communities and the planet.
And our gardens are changing young lives – our 1st, 3rd and 4th graders told us that they want to eat more vegetables; love learning in the garden, and now understand about measurement. The teachers are excited too, the lesson plans fit in well with their health unit, and they loved watching the love of learning the gardens create.
Thank you so much for your support on our first Colorado Gives Day, December 2017. We are very happy to report we raised $4,136!
We offer easy-to-implement, garden-based, grade-specific lessons to provide hands on learning for elementary school students across the Boulder Valley School District. Our online lesson plans are easily integrated into classes.
Our programs are currently at 20 area schools, reaching over 9,100 students, including 2,500 who qualify for Free and Reduced lunch meals. In the course of a year, over 13,000 hours of garden-based lessons are delivered through the Garden to Table programs. Our children are eating better, learning better, and happier outside:
“The garden is cool because we get to go outside and be in nature.” (Fireside 5th grade) “Gardening helps me learn measurement.” (High Peaks, 1st grade) “What I learned from this activity is that planting is life.” (Sanchez, 1st grade) “I liked it because there were healthy things to make you strong and to make you learn!!!!” (Pioneer, K) “This is fun!” (Lafayette, 3rd) “Wow, look at all the vegetables we harvested!” “Can we do this again tomorrow?” “I love learning OUTSIDE!” (Whittier, 5th)
And from our teachers: “I was highly impressed with the variety of materials which were supplied to support the lesson. I like the fact that I can continue to refer back to the power point and videos even after being in the garden.”
Our Biggest Fundraising Needs The total Growe Garden to Table program costs are $7,467 each year for each school. The schools pay a nominal fee, between $600-900/year and the Growe Foundation must fundraise the balance. Our donors and sponsors share our passion for teaching children about healthy eating choices, taking care of the environment, community building, and hands-on learning programs.
Parent and teacher engagement at our schools with a high number of low income families is particularly challenging: parents tend to be less available (one car only, work two jobs, home with siblings), and teachers are more stretched with children learning at different levels.
These schools’ PTAs have less funding available, which is an important resource for the school garden fee contribution. And these are the schools with the highest need for nutrition and environmental care education, as well as hands-on math and science programs. Child obesity, chronic health issues, and food allergies rates continue to be highest among low-income families.
Our ultimate goal is to provide these curricula based lesson plans to two additional schools by 2019, reaching an additional 1,500 students, using a scaling model that gives them the tools and skills to care for their gardens.
Creating a more independent school model will enable us to expand our reach to more schools and extend our expertise with the staff and families of the children we currently serve. Our plan is to provide planting and garden care videos and workshops on maintaining the cycle of the school gardens for teachers, parent volunteers, landscape companies, and interns.
We are also developing more marketing materials for all our schools to help them recruit volunteers to help with the gardens, highlighting the many benefits of working with the school gardens.
Thank you again so much for supporting the Growe Foundation programs!