INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, April 25, 2013) - An American Heart Association initiative to teach healthy lifestyles to children is taking root in central Indiana. Students at Cold Spring Environmental Magnet School and Homecroft Elementary will plant American Heart Association Teaching Gardens Friday, bringing to seven the number of schools with Teaching Gardens in the metro area.The Teaching Garden initiative was developed in 2012 and since that time 164 gardens have been planted in schools across the country.
“We’re thrilled to have seven Teaching Gardens in central Indiana,” said Dan Krajnovich, chairman of the American Heart Association’s Indianapolis Metropolitan board of directors. “There is an epidemic of childhood obesity, and much of that is rooted in poor eating habits. Teaching Gardens allow children to gain a hands-on experience with fruits and vegetables that are a key component of a healthier diet.”
Nearly one-third of U.S. children are either overweight or obese, putting them at greater risk for developing heart disease. Teaching Gardens are part of the American Heart Association’s prevention platform to empower Americans to get healthier. Teaching Gardens were created using American Heart Association science and nutrition guidelines as well as information from gardening and education experts. The program combines nutrition education with garden-based learning.
“The Plant Day is a celebration of our school's commitment to environmental education,” said Mil Penner, Teaching Garden champion at Cold Spring. “All of our classrooms will use the healthy eating curriculum to teach positive nutrition habits and understand the relationship between planting, caring, harvesting and consumption.”
American Heart Association Teaching Gardens are made possible by grants from additional organizations. The garden at Cold Spring Environmental Magnet School is funded by The Glick Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, and the garden at Homecroft Elementary is funded by Lilly USA, LLC.
Teaching Gardens in the metro area include:
|School||District||1st Plant Date|
|Brentwood Elementary||Plainfield Community Schools||April 18, 2013|
|Bunker Hill Elementary||Franklin Township||August 17, 2012|
|Cold Spring Environmental Magnet||Indianapolis Public Schools||April 26, 2013|
|Frederick Douglass Elementary||Indianapolis Public Schools||Sept. 18, 2012|
|Homecroft Elementary||Perry Township||April 26, 2013|
|Rosa Parks Elementary||Perry Township||May 16, 2012|
|Thompson Crossing Elementary||Franklin Township||August 17, 2012|