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WKU, Parker-Bennett-Curry receive grant for garden project

Whole Kids Foundation supporting project to improve children’s nutrition

Parker-Bennett-Curry Elementary School (PBC) will use a $2,000 grant from the Whole Kids Foundation to build an edible planting garden. The garden is the central component of a natural playscape that was designed for the school in partnership with faculty from the Department of Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences at WKU.

Parker-Bennett-Curry Elementary School will use a $2,000 grant from the Whole Kids Foundation to build an edible planting garden. The garden is the central component of a natural playscape that was designed for the school in partnership with faculty from the Department of Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences at WKU.

In collaboration with WKU, Parker-Bennett-Curry Elementary School received a grant to build a garden through Whole Kids Foundation’s School Garden Grant Program, which was created in partnership with FoodCorps to help schools grow students’ relationships with food through gardening.

The Foundation has extended $5.5 million in grant funds to over 2,700 schools and garden-related nonprofits throughout the country, which will support a broad range of projects including raised bed garden construction, vertical gardens and larger-scale expansions in schools, outdoor classroom projects, composting and rainwater collection.

“We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm for the School Garden Grant Program,” said Nona Evans, Executive Director of Whole Kids Foundation. “It is so inspiring to see the diversity and creativity in the types of gardens that will be planted across the country and the interaction between the students and their communities.”

In addition to funding, each grant recipient received a package of garden starter items, including seeds from High Mowing Organics, and a School Garden Resource Guide with a wealth of information on resources and how to build and sustain gardens to ensure long-term success.

Parker-Bennett-Curry Elementary School (PBC) will use the $2,000 grant from the Whole Kids Foundation to build an edible planting garden. The garden is the central component of a natural playscape that was designed for the school in partnership with faculty from the Department of Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences at WKU. PBC students, under the guidance of their teachers, will not only be involved in building the planter beds for the garden, but also in every step of plant lifecycle from sowing through harvesting of the produce. Some of the plants the school intends to grow include lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, pumpkins and green beans.

“The school is very excited to have received the grant from the Whole Kids Foundation which enables them to begin a project that they have been planning and working on for the past year,” said Shahnaz Aly, Assistant Professor in the Department of Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences. “The edible planting garden will be an amazing educational opportunity for the students and will help in team building and mentoring skills. Faculty from the Department of Agriculture at WKU will also advise and help the school in this endeavor.”

For information on how to apply for a school garden grant and learn about additional Whole Kids Foundation programs, visit wholekidsfoundation.org.

About Whole Kids Foundation: Whole Kids Foundation, a Whole Foods Market foundation, is based in Austin, Texas, and operates as an independent, nonprofit organization. By empowering schools and inspiring families, the Foundation aims to help children reach optimal health through the strength of a healthy body fueled by nutritious food. For information on the Foundation’s programs including school gardens, salad bars and nutrition education for teachers, visit wholekidsfoundation.org.

About FoodCorps: FoodCorps is a national nonprofit that seeks to reverse childhood obesity by increasing children’s knowledge of, engagement with and access to healthy food. The centerpiece of its work is an AmericanCorps public service program that recruits young leaders for a year of service in high-obesity, limited-resource communities of need. Service members build and tend school gardens, conduct hands-on nutrition education and facilitate Farm to School programming that brings high quality, local food into schools. For more information, visit foodcorps.org.

Contact: Shahnaz Aly, (270) 745-5849

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