Grantee Blog 2020

COVID 19 THWARTS Tower Gardens

The funding from this grant will provide the Audrey W. Clark Alternative Academy, Long Branch Public Schools, with the startup money needed to implement Tower Garden Programs in grades K-5. The AWCAA which is comprised of 50% Special Education students and 50% of students whom all have different needs that cause them to learn differently.

The tower garden program that we will implement is aligned to the NJ State Standards for Health and Wellness. This program will enhance the current programs with best practices and skills for 21stcentury learning.

The Healthy Living benefits of this project will afford students the opportunities to gain positive effects on the healthy eating habits and overall wellness. One of the best ways you can convince children to eat healthy foods is to allow them to have a role in growing it. Tower gardens are wonderful ways to introduce children to the world of food production. Many children who grow up in urban areas have no idea where food really comes from. A tower garden is perfect for urban areas to give children who live in a city the ability to see how food is grown and to enjoy the process. This is a great way to bring healthier foods to the table and give children an education about safe and environmentally responsible food production.These K-5 students will also utilize science and math skills while growing their own food year-round in their classrooms.

TheTower Garden (see pic) is a compact, state-of-the-art, vertical aeroponic growing system. It is easy to assemble and maintain by using grow lights. It uses state-of-the-art vertical aeroponic growing system. This system recycles nutrients and water, using less than 10% of the water of a traditional garden. NASA research suggests that aeroponic growing takes about half the time of traditional growing. You can grow a variety of fruits, vegetables.Tower Gardens will provide students with a daily opportunity to observe, collect data and reflect on the daily process.

Thus far I was able to meet with the building Principal to introduce her to what the program will be. Due to COVID 19, all Long Branch Public Schools are closed until further notice. Also, at this point we have not received any funds so I am unable to purchase the tower gardens. This virus has the entire Nation on hold. On a positive note the LBPS’s are setting up stations for parents to pick up grab and go meals (see pic).

About the Grantee

New Jersey Association for Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance (NJAHPERD)

NJAHPERD is dedicated to advancing quality health education, physical education, recreation, dance education, and athletics through professional development, programming, advocacy, and collegial exchange. The Association promotes responsibility and development of healthy active lifestyles for New Jersey’s students, educators and community members.