classroom gardens

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Kids Plant Michelle Obama’s White House Kitchen Garden for the Last Time

Eight years of growing vegetables on the South Lawn has helped to change conversations about food and diet in the U.S.

Michelle Obama helped to turn the dirt and plant seedlings on the South Lawn of the White House for the last time as first lady on Tuesday. She planted, among other crops, the same kind of lettuce grown on the International Space Station.

Over the two terms of the Obama administration, online videos of the first lady asking “Turnip for what?” or surprising schoolkids in their own garden classrooms have become familiar sights. So much so that it’s easy to forget that the kitchen garden,established by her in 2009, was the first to be planted on the White House grounds since Eleanor Roosevelt’s World War II–era Victory Garden.

“It was eight years ago that we cooked up this really interesting idea, that maybe we could dig up some dirt of the South Lawn — maybe someone would let us do that, and we could plant a wonderful garden that would be a space where we could talk about the food we eat,” the first lady saidbefore working with elementary-school students from Washington, D.C., schools and kids visiting from around the country.

The Let’s Move! campaign, focused on children’s health and diet, has had its ups and downs over the years, but initiatives like the White House garden have helped to change the conversation about kids’ diets — and has helped to further popularize the growing trend of school gardens across the country.

And the idea that kids will be more likely to eat their vegetables if they see where they come from, which Obama reiterated on Tuesday, is borne out by the research: Numerous studies have shown an increase in the number of fruit and vegetable servings consumed daily, as well as greater intake of fiber and vitamins A and C, after being involved in a school gardening program. Additionally, a 2013 study published in the Review of Educational Research showed “overwhelmingly that garden-based learning had a positive impact on students’ grades, knowledge, attitudes, and behavior.”

Many of the students helping with the planting this year — who travelled from Newark, New Jersey, and New Orleans, and other points across the county — come from backgrounds where the need for both better nutrition and education outcomes is most acute. At the two D.C. public schools that have helped both plant and harvest the garden since 2008, Bancroft Elementary and Tubman Elementary, 76 percent and 99 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, respectively. Bancroft is 74 percent Hispanic, while Tubman is 48 percent black and 48 percent Hispanic.

Childhood obesity rates are higher for both black and Hispanic populations than for white kids. Furthermore, food-access issues in urban areas disproportionately affect poor and minority populations, with predominantly black neighborhoods suffering from the most limited access to supermarkets, according a 2013 study published in the journal Preventative Medicine — even when those neigbhorhoods are comparatively well off.

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Some sketch! More from this crazy AU about being a architecture students (like me :3 ) Arthur is a solitary student and applied until a certain young American persistent, intelligent and kindhearted comes to complement their university life… :3 how can I say… Is just an idea, all this scenarios are from my university: the hall, workshops, classrooms, and the gardens.. I really love this place