Jo​in The Fun, School Garden Planting Day To Combat Childhood Obesity

Helping kids learn to eat right and be active every day is the goal of the ‘School Garden Planting Day” which will take place on Saturday, September 10, 2011 at Clifford O. Taylor/Kirklane Elementary School.  The school is located at 4200 Purdy Lane in Palm Springs, and volunteers should arrive by 8:00AM.  According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities Project Coordinator Erica Whitfield, “This planting day is very unique because of the partnership with Action for Healthy Kids who will be providing lunch, t-shirts, and art supplies for a garden mural. The garden will include raised vegetable beds, a butterfly garden, and six fruit trees.” 

The installation of this school garden is going to rely heavily on volunteers, so everyone in the community is encouraged to come out and help. Bring gloves, hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Extra shovels and rakes are also appreciated.

In 2010, The School District of Palm Beach County received a four-year grant from the RWJF to work in the communities of Lake Worth, Palm Springs, and Greenacres combating childhood obesity through policy, and environmental changes. Quantum and Palm Healthcare Foundations are key community partners with the grant who have pledged funding to support the development of school gardens, such as the one at Clifford O. Taylor/Kirklane. Gardens are one example of opportunities to improve access to healthy food, and increase physical activity.

Action for Healthy Kids is a National organization which addresses childhood undernourishment, obesity and prevention by working with schools to help kids learn to eat right and be active every day. This focus is because of the unique position, and influence that schools have on children and their families, in addition to their responsibility to provide nutrition, and physical education, and their many opportunities to promote healthy eating and active living.

However, schools have a lot on their plates, and they can’t “do it alone.” This is where Action for Healthy Kids comes in. It partners with families, community members, professionals, and business to support schools in this effort. The organization’s Commitment to Change outlines important steps that need to be taken to create healthier schools – and healthier kids.

To register to participate in the school wide planting day as an Action for Healthy Kids volunteer, please contact Janet Reilly at 386-569-1262.

For more information about the RWJF Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities grant, please contact Erica Whitfield at Erica.Whitfield@palmbeachschools.org or 561-969-5880.