Garden to Table
The Garden to the Table Program focuses staff, students and families at Creekside on creating a school environment that promotes good health. The program is intended to improve students’ health by providing freshly prepared, nutritious meals in the lunchroom; we know that well-fed children are much better learners than poorly nourished ones. The project is also intended to improve students’ interest in good health by providing the tools to learn about it at its most inspirational levels. Working in the garden and kitchen gives children a sense of responsibility for creating something good. We will demonstrate through our kitchen, garden and curriculum that our own good health is tied directly to the health of the earth. This project is an educational process, designed to increase academic achievement and close the achievement gap through integrated units of study that are comprehensible, experiential and motivational. These aims will be accomplished through the following four components:
Provide healthy, delicious and cost-effective meals that are cooked on premises by a skilled chef; source food from local suppliers and farms; work with local chefs and nutritionists to create menus and recipes; take students to farms where their food is grown; use produce from our own school garden when possible; involve students in the preparation of food to illustrate classroom curriculum.
Build raised-bed gardens in our school courtyard, and possibly on land adjacent to the playground; use gardens as a hands-on means of understanding lessons learned in the classroom—not only life-cycle lessons, but from literally all areas of the curriculum; use produce from the gardens in the school lunch program to help students see the fruits of their labor through from start to (almost) finish (see zero waste program below); connect with local gardening and farming experts to advise on garden design and growing programs; involve students in building, design and growing choices.
Integrated Curriculum Units
Support teachers in tying existing curriculum and standards into units of study related to school gardens, wellness and nutrition whereby students can gain the knowledge and motivation necessary for lifelong physical activity and healthy eating habits; use gardens and kitchen whenever possible to illustrate classroom lessons; consult with appropriate experts to achieve these goals.
Zero Waste Recycling Program
Implement a zero waste program supported by Eco-Cycle staff; show students the importance of waste in the life-cycle of all things; demonstrate that we can vastly reduce our waste products and in fact enhance life—that is, our health and the health of all growing things—by composting everything we can.
Creekside Elementary is comprised of an international student population with about 30% Latino, 17% Asian and 50% Caucasian students. We pull students from the University of Colorado family housing and south Boulder neighborhoods. Almost 40% of the school’s students are eligible for Free and Reduced Lunches. With its intermediate size, diverse population and mixed SES student body, Creekside is an ideal school for implementing this project and creating a model for a healthy school community.
The Growe Foundation, directed by Bryce Brown, has implemented many successful programs in Boulder County aimed at improving children’s health. The Garden to Table Project at Justice High, Health Camp and the Cultivating Healthy Meals Project are among the foundation’s most recent efforts. Our Love of Children, which gave way to the Growe Foundation, will build the relationships between the Creekside community and the greater Boulder community that will ensure the necessary funding, materials and expertise to start the project and keep it going. The foundation will provide connections to experts as diverse as chefs, farmers, gardeners, business people, nutritionists, publicists and the media.
Read the Daily Camera article about our garden!
Please feel free to contact any of the organizers below with questions or concerns.