Midwest School Garden Grant will be awarded to 10 schools

By Michael Metallo


Michael Metallo National Gardening Association (800) 538-7476, ext.123 e-mail: mikem@garden.org


The Grandchildren of Helene and Mark Eisner Midwest School Garden Grant will be awarded to 10 schools.

So. Burlington, VT (January 5, 2009) - The National Gardening Association (NGA) is pleased to announce the 2009 Midwest School Garden Grant. Funded by a generous donation from the Grandchildren of Helen and Mark Eisner, 10 schools from Midwestern states will be selected to receive technical assistance, horticultural and garden education consultation, and $1,000 in materials and funding to lay the foundation for their garden program.

"I have seen many at-risk kids flourish in the garden setting, and successfully engage in learning that they'd previously failed at in the traditional classroom setting," shares sponsor Amos Lans. "Gardens create an important link between home and school, and between elders and youth."

"Today's children are bearing the brunt of industrialization and urbanization," says Mike Metallo, president of the National Gardening Association. "We have a responsibility to our children to give them opportunities to engage with nature in a safe setting. Learning comes alive for students and teachers alike in a school garden environment. Garden programs help youth make the all-important people-plant connection and teach them that this planet is our home. This makes garden programs so important for young people."

The awards are open to elementary, middle, and high schools serving low- to middle-income students located in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Educators should be planning to garden with students in the spring and/or summer of 2009. The garden programs should teach students life skills, reinforce academics, develop environmental stewardship, and encourage students to make positive choices for themselves and the planet. Applications must be postmarked by February 13, 2009, and award winners will be announced by March 13, 2009. For full details and to download an application, please visit http://www.kidsgardening.org/grants.asp

About the "Adopt a School Garden" Program

The National Gardening Association's flagship Adopt a School Garden program bridges the gap between schools lacking resources and people who have the ability to help. School garden programs boost achievement, cultivate life skills, contribute to healthy lifestyles, and connect kids with nature through hands-on learning. To learn more, visit http://assoc.garden.org/ag/asg/.

About the National Gardening Association

Founded in 1973, National Gardening Association (NGA) is a national nonprofit leader in plant-based education, respected for its award-winning, information-rich Web sites and newsletters; grants, curricula, and resources for youth gardens; and research for the lawn and garden industry. NGA's mission is to promote home, school, and community gardening as a means to renew and sustain the essential connection between people, plants, and the environment. To learn more about gardening with children, please visit www.kidsgardening.org.


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