Students at College View Elementary School in Denver now have an interactive outdoor classroom, called a Learning Garden, that aims to feed their bellies as well as their brains.
The Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation, a Michigan-based foundation that is dedicated to transforming lives in profoundly positive ways through grants focused on health, youth and family, and animal welfare, provided a $50,000 grant to the charitable organization Big Green. The grant will support the build of College View Elementary School’s Learning Garden, an edible, ADA-accessible outdoor classroom that allows the school to teach health and nutrition education through growing their own food. In addition, the Foundation double downed and supported Edible Garden Programmatic Initiatives at seven other schools that have Learning Gardens in the South Federal neighborhoods of Denver.
“The programmatic work that Big Green does with its interactive Learning Gardens exemplifies the mission of the Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation,” said Virginia Romano, chief executive officer at the Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation. “Through its work, Big Green creates additional learning opportunities for Denver youth and promotes health and wellbeing for all participating youth and their families.”
The Learning Garden at College View Elementary School is the 80th such facility that Big Green has installed across Colorado. During the Kick-Off Day at the start of the 2019-2020 school year, classes from College View Elementary visited their new outdoor space to help move soil and plant their fall, edible garden. Learning Gardens are made up of modular, raised beds and include seating and shade to make them attractive places from where to teach and learn. Standing at 19 inches tall, the garden beds are the perfect size for kids to be eye level with soil and plants. Students planted spinach, kale, lettuce, Swiss chard, peas, and radishes. Those veggies were harvested in late-October when students picked, washed, weighed, and tasted the fruit – or veggies! – of their labor.
Along with College View Elementary School, Big Green has several other Learning Garden schools in the South Federal neighborhood where its Edible Garden Programs and Garden Based Curriculum is implemented in partnership with the teachers and school districts. The Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation, graciously supported seven of these school programs as well in order to strengthen the knowledge of health and nutrition for the next generation of students.
About the Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation
The Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation is dedicated to transforming lives in profoundly positive ways through grants focused on health, youth and family, and animal welfare. The Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation hopes to enrich lives by providing the resources needed to lead full and healthy lives. For more information, please visit the Foundation’s website.