The city’s garden initiative program for schools founded by GrowNYC just got great news! The Grow to Learn: Citywide School Gardens Initiative has been awarded $59,044 in mini-grant funding from the Mayor’s Fund. The funds will be split amongst 36 New York public and charter schools to foster garden programs that aim to teach kids the benefits and satisfaction of growing their own fresh fruits and vegetables. This is the second round of funding for the program; in April, 20 schools received the first round of mini-grants.
Participating schools can register to receive a mini-grant of up to $2,000 to help their gardens grow. The schools can also register their gardens to become eligible for materials and gardening advice from the Department of Parks and Recreation’s GreenThumb community garden program.
Many of the awarded schools are located in areas highly affected by obesity and diabetes, meaning that many of the children at these schools are not provided with proper nutrition at home. These school gardens teach these kids the beauty of eating and growing their own healthy foods.
Each school’s garden is different, ranging from small classroom gardens to larger school yard gardens and participation in local community gardens. Fruits, vegetables and herbs from the student-grown gardens have also been incorporated into the schools’ cafeteria menus, sharing the wealth with the entire student body.
The awarded schools span all five boroughs, and the grants were made possible through sponsorship by Bank of America and the Doris Duke Charity.