Health Programs Continue to Thrive at Smalley
Smalley School in Bound Brook New Jersey joined the New Jersey Health Communities Initiative with Healthier Somerset after hearing of the great success experienced at Alexander Batcho Intermediate School. Since the school has begun its nutrition program with SNAP-Ed at Zufall Health, its self-contained classrooms have not only benefited from heathy eating education but have also played a role in growing their own produce with AeroGardens.
After five months, the feedback remains entirely positive.
- “The students really enjoyed learning about healthy foods. They were fascinated that they could grow their own healthy foods. This program prompted great discussion about foods, plant parts, and how plants grow. We are looking forward to continuing this program to foster healthy habits, interacting with our environment, and possibly extending our indoor gardens to an outdoor space.” – Kelly Hellman, Teacher at Smalley School
- I thought the program was good. I liked the in class portion with the AeoGardens and I thought that the classes weren’t too long or drawn out. – Tamie Stearns, Teacher at Smalley School
- Our students enjoyed the plants in class and the responsibility of up keeping it. They also enjoyed the weekly classroom lessons. It was a great change of pace to our normal routine. I can’t wait to continue this next year!” – Anthony Melesurgo, Teacher at Smalley School
It is due to this success and commitment to the program that Smalley School intends to expand their nutrition programming in the summer and fall of 2021. With the school’s administration on board, Smalley is looking into obtaining additional AeroGardens, which will be used in its new self-contained classrooms. Additionally, the school has an open space for outdoor learning. They are discussing allotting a section of this “outdoor classroom” to install a greenhouse. This space would allow more students to be engaged and for the school to increase its growing capacity year-round.
About the Grantee
Healthier Somerset is a coalition created to improve the health and well-being of those who live and work in Somerset County. We promote healthy lifestyles through collaboration among 50 partner organizations representing thousands of Somerset County residents, businesses, schools, nonprofit organizations, public health officials, healthcare providers, government, and faith-based organizations.