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Transcript of LEAD II
The North Hills Elementary School Garden
My plan is to build a vegetable garden on the campus of North Hills Elementary School here in Winston-Salem. I chose North Hills because this is a school with a high population of students from low income families who are at risk for become obese and developing poor nutrition habits. In fact, it has the highest percentage of students out of any elementary school in the county receiving free or reduced-price lunch. (Fain, 2012) My hope is to increase student awareness on the importance of life-long healthy eating habits while giving teachers a new, hands-on medium to use during their instruction.
North Hills Elementary School
As of 2008, over 1/3 of children in the U.S. were overweight or obese. Since 1980, this number has more than tripled and continues to rise. Obesity is caused by a "caloric imbalance" meaning children are consuming more calories in a day than they are burning through physical activities. Obesity has major health implications that follow children throughout their lives. One study indicated that there is a link between children who are obese as early as age two and adulthood obesity. ("Childhood obesity facts," 2012) North Carolina is currently ranked 14th in adulthood obesity out of the 50 states with 29.4% of our adults considered to be obese. In fact, the only southern states not included in the top 20 worst states for adult obesity are Florida and Virginia. Obesity is a rapidly growing problem in this country and here in North Carolina, we are at the center of it. ("State-by-state obesity rates," 2011)
Childhood obesity facts. (2012, June 7). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm
This is a collection of studies and facts put together by the Center for Disease Control on the hardmful effects of childhood obesity in the United Sates.
Fain, T. (2012, July 1). Forsyth county schools resegregated, but opinions differ on whether that's a problem. The Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved from http://www2.journalnow.com/news/2012/jul/01/wsmain01-forsyth-county-schools-resegregated-but-o-ar-2399183/
The Winston-Salem Journal put together statistics regarding socio-economic status and racial disparities in WS/FCS to address the increasing segregation of our schools.
This is a website that offers healthy living information geared towards children. I used some of their information as inspiration for the "Healthy Tips of the Week" section.
NC State Board of Education, Department of Public Instruction. (2011). Nc school report cards. Retrieved from Education First website: http://www.ncreportcards.org/src/servlet/srcICreatePDF?pSchCode=462&pLEACode=340&pYear=2010-2011
This is the report card given to every public school in North Carolina that details their performance from the past year. I pulled North Hills' EOG test scores from this source.
Office of the First Lady. (2012, February 9). First lady michelle obama launches let's move: America's move to raise a healthier generation of kids. Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/first-lady-michelle-obama-launches-lets-move-americas-move-raise-a-healthier-genera
This is a press release from the Office of the First Lady on her Let's Move! campaign. I used facts from this article on the effects obesity has on the United States as a whole.
Ogden, C., & Carroll, M. Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, (2010). Prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents: United states, trends 1963-1965 through 2007-2008. Retrieved from website: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/obesity_child_07_08/obesity_child_07_08.htm
In this study, reported by the CDC, they examined the increase in obesity among different ethnic groups in the United States. I used two graphs from this study to display the greater increase in obesity in minorities.
Rathus, S. A. (2010). Cdev. (2010-2011 ed., p. 185). New York: Wadsworth Pub Co.
This text book examines the physical, cognitive, and emotional development of people from infancy to adolescence. I used information from the section regarding childhood obesity and parents' influence on their child's healthy habits.
State-by-state obesity rates. (2011, July 7). USA Today. Retrieved from http://yourlife.usatoday.com/fitness-food/diet-nutrition/story/2011/07/State-by-state-obesity-rates/49188748/1
In the article from USA Today, they reported on a study giving the rankings for adult obesity in all 50 states. From this is gathered data regarding NC's obesity rate as well as the rates for southern states.
Implications of Obesity and Malnutrition
Children with poor diets are at risk for dozens of obesity related diseases and can see a negative impact on their ability to perform in the classroom. A few of the obesity related health issues include: heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, bone and joint problems, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. Some overweight children experience social and psychological issues as a result of their physical appearance and treatment by their peers. (CDC) It has also been shown that eating a healthy breakfast in the morning increases student's ability to perform in the classroom. If you look at the financial implications of obesity, it is estimated that we spend $147 billion dollars each year to fight obesity related illnesses in the United States. There are even national security implications for widespread obesity which is now one of the top reasons people are kept from serving in the military. (Office of the First Lady, 2012)
Building a School Garden
North Hills Elementary School, located in northern Winston-Salem, has a student body made up of 373 students from grades K-5, 97% of which are minorities. Of these 373 students, all but two receive free or reduced-price lunch. (Fain, 2012) The percentage of students who passed their E.O.G. tests in 2011 was lower than the district and state averages in every grade and every subject. ("Nc school report," 2011) It's because of these statistics that I've chosen North Hills Elementary School for the site of the school garden.
Obesity and Minorities
While obesity is a growing problem for all ages, genders, and races in the United States, there are staggering disparities in the prevalence of obesity in children ages 12-19. The charts below demonstrate the increase in obesity in different minority groups since 1988. The graphs below illustrate my reasoning in choosing a school with large population of minority students. (Ogden & Carroll, 2010)
Boys Ages 12-19
Girls Ages 12-19
1. Principal approval
2. Inform the parents
3. Seek community support
4. Plan the garden
5. Collect donations and supplies
6. Prepare the materials
7. Garden Day!
8. Maintain the garden
9. Use the garden as an educational tool for
students and their families.
10. Enjoy the products of our garden!
My goal of the community garden aligns with the mission statement of the North Hills Panthers which reads: North Hills Elementary School will provide a collaborative environment that nurtures emotional, social, and academic achievement to prepare students for success in the 21st century.
In doing so, we want to give each and every student at North Hills the foundation to lead a healthy lifestyle to benefit everything they do in their daily lives. Schools are in a unique position of influence in the lives of their students which means it is their responsibility to instill values and habits children need to lead full lives, this includes making healthy decisions.
1. Build a garden where each and every child at North Hills Elementary School has the opportunity to participate.
2. Provide practical nutritional information for students AND their families to apply at home.
3. Incorporate nutritional and scientific lessons that align with the state required curriculum through hands-on activities in the school garden.
First Letter Home
2. Inform the Parents
To allow for plenty of planning and fund-raising time, we will inform the parents of our plans to build a school garden in January of 2013. We will set aside time at each PTA meeting in the spring to plan and discuss parent involvement in the garden next fall. We hope to involve the parents as much as possible in the building and maintenance to further engage them in their child's education and school.
Calendar of Events
Fall 2012: Seek principal approval
January 2, 2013: Send informational letter to parents (First day back to school)
January 2013: Discuss plans with parents at first PTA meeting of the semester and recruit team leaders
February 2013: First Planning Meeting
Spring 2013: Collect donations and materials
April 2013: Second Planning Meeting
Summer 2013: Purchase remaining materials.
August 26-30: Third Planning Meeting and Final Collection of Materials
August 31, 2013: Garden Day! (first Saturday of the 2013-2014 school year)
August 31-November 15: Maintaining the Garden
One of the goals of our school garden is to educate parents on the importance of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle in the lives on of their kids. Parents are a huge influence in their child's life and kids often emulate their behavior. If the parent has poor exercise and eating habits, it is likely that the child will make similar choices. Parents are also responsible for what food comes in the house and should be aware of the effects of these choices have on their child. (Rathus, 2010) We plan to give weekly nutrition tips to our parents in the hopes of instilling healthy ideas and eventually healthy habits in the home with the entire family and not just at school.
As the school garden coordinator, I would spearhead a project that allows teachers to collaboratively enhance the learning opportunities for the students at North Hills Elementary.
By including the parents and families of our students, a school garden would provide an additional route to build relationships with students’ families and an opportunity to hear and apply their input to a project within the school.
A school garden provides a new opportunity to explore different content areas in one setting. Children can explore topics in science and plant growth, health and nutrition, and incorporate countless other lessons into working with a school garden. Additionally, a garden has practical application in the lives of students. Teaching children about healthy eating habits and leading health lives directly applies to their lives beyond the walls of the school.
Using a school garden serves as a hands-on activity it provides a new medium of instruction for our teachers and a new options for students to learn by doing.
North Hills Statistics
Supplies Needed to Build and Maintain Our School Garden
• 6 wood boards
• 2 bags of screws
• 8 corner blocks
• 2 hammers
• 2 screw drivers
• 1 gallon of linseed oil
• 1 paint brush
• 10 pairs of gloves
• 2 watering cans
• 1 hose
• 10 hands trowels
• vegetable seeds
• all-purpose plant food
Personnel and Community Resources
Since approval is not necessary at the state or district level, we will work with North Hills Elementary School's principal, Karen Morning-Cain, and vice principal, Tiffany Krafft, to finalize a plan for building, maintaining, and making the most of our garden.
To ensure that each group responsible for maintaining the school garden stays informed and on the right track, we will recruit three team leaders to lead the way throughout the entire process. We will have 1 teacher leader, 1 student leader, 1 parent leader, and 1 garden leader (myself). The student leader must be in the 4th grade during the 2012-2013 school year and plan to return to North Hills the following year. The parent volunteer can be the parent of any child in grades K-4 during the 2012-2013 school year. The primary responsibilities of the leaders will fall around planning and executing Garden Day! The parent leader and myself will be responsible for scheduling volunteers during the growing season (through the 2nd week in November).
Personnel and Community Resources
We will reach out to parents during PTA meetings and through e-mails during the spring and summer to encourage parents to participate in Garden Day! and volunteer for garden maintenance during the growing season. In all, we will 26 parents, 15 for Garden Day! and 1 each week for 11 weeks to maintain the garden. Garden maintenance is only expected to take 2 hours each week and parents may volunteer for more than one week. It is up to myself and the parent leader to coordinate the volunteer schedule in the spring so we are prepared for the fall.
Personnel and Community Resources
We will reach out the North Hills Elementary School's business partners for donations and volunteer support. They will receive letters in the spring regarding donations and the summer to schedule time to volunteer in the coming fall.
2. T.W. Garner Foods
3. I.L. Long Construction Company
4. Mount Tabor Methodist Church
5. Wake Forest University
6. McDonald's (North Point Blvd. location)
We also plan on reaching out to LA Reynolds Garden Showcase for donations. The primary recipients of their donations each year are local schools. We hope they will donate the seeds necessary for our five vegetables.
Contact: Ken Long email@example.com
Through fliers, we will inform the surrounding neighborhood of Garden Day! and invite those who are interested to come and participate.
3. Seek Community Support
Below is our budget if we do not receive any donations of gardening goods from our parents, teachers or community partners.
Letter to LA Reynolds
5. Collect Donations and Supplies
By starting off our project 8 months before we plan to build the garden, I anticipate that we will be able to raise the money and collect the necessary supplies. Teachers will collect donations from parents in their classrooms and donations from the community should go through the main office.
4. Plan the Garden
The garden will be announced in a letter home at the beginning of the Spring semester. It will also be discussed at each PTA meeting, encouraging parents, teachers, and students to participate in the planning meetings, Garden Day! and maintenance throughout the fall.
1. Winter 2013: This meeting, held in February 2013, will include myself, the group leaders, and any other parents or students to formulate a plan of action for ensuring we have the supplies necessary to build the garden.
2. Spring 2013: This meeting, held towards the end of the school year, will serve as a check-up to make sure we have the necessary supplies or supplies in place for use in the fall. There will also be check-ups and volunteer recruiting during PTA meetings and in the school newsletter throughout the semester.
3. First Week of School: During the first week of school we will have our final planning meeting where we go over Garden Day! specifics and everyone's duties. We will also coordinate who is responsible for picking up the remaining supplies and make sure we have enough parent and community volunteers to maintain the garden throughout the growing season. During this final meeting we will also paint the wooden boards with linseed oil so they are ready for Garden Day!
4. Plan the Garden
The Fall Garden
To allow for children to participate in the gardening process and to use the garden during instruction in fall semester, we are planting a fall garden. While we will have to plant the vegetables at the very beginning of the school year, the vegetables I selected all have a fall growing season in North Carolina and should be ready within 90 days of planting (if they are taken care of!). This also eliminates, for this first garden, the need for care and maintenance over the summer holiday.
I have chosen the following vegetables:
It is also advised that when building a school garden for the first time to start small so we are only planting two 4 x 8 raised beds to start with and hopefully can expand on in the future. I have chosen raised beds because they are easier to maintain and there is more control over soil quality than with planting in the ground and using the soil on the school's campus.
4. Plan the Garden
6. Prepare the Materials
During the planning meeting in the Spring we will assess our collected materials (tools only) and see how much more money we need to raise.
Over the summer I will purchase the remaining tools with the funds we raised during the spring semester.
At the planning meeting prior to Garden Day! we will assign team leaders to pick up the remaining materials which should only be the seeds and the mulch/compost.
7. Garden Day!
Garden Day! will happen the very first Saturday of the 2013-2014 school year to ensure that we get the plants in the ground on time. We will ask volunteers to stay for two hours to ensure that we have enough volunteers at a time. However, if we have too many, we will ask that people only stay for an hour. Our plan is to get the garden built and planted in 6 hours and the event will last from 10am-4pm. We hope that parents, students, siblings, teachers, and members of the community show up to support our project.
Garden Day Schedule of Events
1. Mark off area needed for raised beds.
2. Assemble raised beds with the boards, corners, and screws.
3. Loosen the soil in the 4 x 8 areas where the beds will sit to improve drainage.
4. Pour in mulch/compost soil and distribute evenly into the two beds.
5. Plant broccoli and lettuce in one bed and kale, cucumbers, and radishes in the second. Cucumbers should be planted against the wall.
6. Water and enjoy!
8. Maintain the Garden
One parent each week will be responsible for maintaining and "checking-in" on the garden to make sure it is properly weeded and cared for.
We would like to give EVERY child the opportunity to be involved in the garden. It will be built as an additional learning tool for teachers to integrate into their instruction. While in the garden, classes can observe, weed or water depending on the needs of the day. We would like to schedule, at the very minimum, 2 classes per week to work in the garden. This gives every class at least 1 opportunity to use the garden, but teachers may use it at any time if it has not been scheduled by another class.
8. Maintain the Garden
I created a website for teachers and volunteers to keep track of what has been done in the garden.
Section 1: Garden schedule, teachers should schedule time they would like to spend in the garden with their class as soon as possible.
Section 2: Garden maintenance, teachers should update when they worked in the garden and what they did while there.
Section 3: Shared lesson plans, this is an opportunity for teachers to share how they've incorporated the garden into their lesson plan.
Section 4: Newsletter, I will update this section with pictures and garden news.
8. Use the Garden as an Educational Tool
In addition to the incorporation of the garden into regular state-mandated curriculum, I would like to send students home with "Healthy Tips of the Week" to reinforce healthy living. These will be e-mailed to the parents each week and given to the children at school during the growing season.
Here are a few examples:
Choose vegetables rich in color and make a plate filled with the colors of the rainbow.
Set aside time every day for a mini family activity.
Have visible reminders to eat healthy foods and leave a bowl of fruit out on the counter.
Buy vegetables when they are in season. The are cheaper when they are at their best.
Use a smaller plate at meals to help with portion control so you can still clean your plate without feeling stuffed.
1. Principal Approval
What we need from you!
9. Enjoy the Products of Our Garden!
When our crops are ready to be picked, myself and any volunteers (students, parents or teachers) will be responsible for picking the vegetables. If some are ready around the time of a PTA meeting, I would like to serve them then, so as many parents as possible get a "taste" of what their kids are working on in school. All additional vegetables will distributed to the teachers to use in their classrooms and distribute to their students on a first come first serve basis.
A 4ft wide garden bed is the recommended size for raised beds for children to work in. This allows the kids to easily reach the middle of the bed to weed.
• 1 spading fork
• 50 fliers
• truck for garden day
• 1 measuring tape