Happy 1st Birthday, Veggie U A+!

It’s been an amazing first year for Veggie U A+! Over eighty gardens were placed in special needs classrooms and over 800 children participated in learning first-hand how vegetables are grown and how to make healthy food choices.

We have received many photos of healthy gardens and happy gardeners so we know that Veggie U A+ has made a real impact on the lives of these children, teaching skills that will last a lifetime.

A special note of thanks goes out to every teacher, intervention specialist, aide, parent and administrator who worked so hard to make Veggie U A+ such a success for their students. You are truly our heroes. The care and attention you took in teaching the program is evident by how much your students have learned and how much they loved the experience. We have had amazing scores on our Veggitudes attitude surveys, with one class even registering a 45% positive change in openness towards eating vegetables. I can almost hear the shouts of joy from parents everywhere!

We have enjoyed visiting classrooms over the past year and have been awed by the creative use of the materials. We have seen murals, dances, presentations, art projects, and other activities that really capture the spirit of Veggie U A+. Seeing those glorious gardens growing in classrooms and how proud the students were of their success tells us all about what they learned.

We were impressed to see schools really embrace Veggie U A+. Schools that had gardens in multiple classrooms used Veggie U A+ as a shared unit across ages and learning abilities. One teacher made use of the lessons and materials for a whole school year. Some schools used the program as an opportunity to have older students teach younger ones. And one school was so inspired by the message of wellness that is a key component of Veggie U A+ that they converted an unused classroom into an indoor gym. And I could go on and on…

We will be sharing some of these innovative ideas in later blog posts because they were just so inspiring. And if you have a great story about your Veggie U A+ experience, please let us know! Until then, thanks again for such a great year. And Happy Birthday to us!

from Susan Fain, Veggie U A+ Coordinator

 

Click here to see a great video celebrating the graduates of Murray Ridge Center. Six classrooms of Veggie U A+, our special needs program, were able to participate thanks to a generous donation by the Nordson Corporation Foundation.