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Grantee Blog

2019-2020 School Year: Strengthening Partnerships

We tend to measure things in school years, which doesn’t exactly always jive with a grant year, so forgive us as we say we are ecstatic to be entering year 2 of the NJHCN grant!  Hamilton Intermediate School in Harrison, NJ remains our model partner school for this project.  In addition to the hydroponic system augmenting KidsFit nutrition education curriculum in the 5th grade classrooms, the hydroponic system will also be used by the school’s new full time STEM teacher!  The school has changed around their specialty scheduling to add in weekly STEM classes for all 300+ students in the school who will have hands on exposure to computer technology, robotics, hydroponics and more.  We cannot say enough about the importance of maintaining a strong relationship between school administration and our staff.  Without the support of the principal, and the multiple teacher champions within this school, managing the hydroponic system as an outside community partner would be impossible.  Furthermore, the expansion of the use of the hydroponic system into science curriculum exemplifies the goals we set for this partnership.

And it shows as the greens continue to flourish!  STEM students started up the hydroponic system early this year in time for back-to-school night where parents and families were able to catch a glimpse into the latest technology available to their children.  They planted spinach, Swiss chard, sorrel, romaine lettuce and basil.  We are looking forward to another great year of growing both produce and our relationships with our partner schools.  More good to come!

About the Grantee

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center

KidsFit is a comprehensive wellness program for Kids and those who love them. There are two layers to the program, treatment of childhood obesity and prevention of childhood obesity. Newark Beth also recognizes the importance of access to healthy food and with the Beth greenhouse we hydroponically produce fresh produce year round.