Pameolin Nelson, Dorothy Williams, Courtnay Holiday, Sheana Carr, John Herridge
Nelson and her colleagues’ winning program idea, “A Bridge Toward Sustainability”, will help their students study urban food production using a new, innovative vertical garden product. Incorporating components in the curriculum from “Let’s Move”, a comprehensive initiative dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity, children will learn about food nutrition, biochemistry of plant growth, and the economics and environmental benefits of locally grown foods. The garden the students will create under their leadership also will provide a natural laboratory for learning in all subjects. The transportation and distribution of foods will be discussed, as well as the art of food preparation, plant nutrition, and how vitamins, minerals and micronutrients are found in fruits and vegetables grown in rich soil. The students also will get hands-on mechanical experience as they help teachers, parents and community volunteers build the vertical gardens. The produce harvested will be provided free of charge to needy families of students. Ultimately, Nelson and her team hope students will increase their fresh fruit and vegetable intake and value the source of their food and the work required to grow it.