Grantee Blog

Coming Up in 2020 – The Growing Continues!

With this last blog post for this cycle of the NJHCN grant, we are looking forward into 2020 and all that is to come to continue our project!  The hydroponic growing system continues to bloom at Hamilton Elementary School where the first group of 5th graders will be wrapping up their KidsFit nutrition cycle before the holiday break in December.  A new group of students will begin their Nutrition and Hydroponics lesson in January.  With the integration of the hydroponics technology into the school’s STEM classes, students are coming into their KidsFit classes with background education on the system and how it operates.  We can’t stress enough the value of the support we’ve received from this school’s administration and teaching staff resulting in a successful partnership.

We are taking on a new school in 2020 with the hydroponics system here in Newark.  Their teachers as well as support staff volunteers will be trained in the first week of December on Hydroponics 101.  We are confident in the potential for integration of the hydro system into this school’s existing science curriculum in addition to nutrition education.

Additionally, through an exciting partnership with Rutgers University, we will be working with graduate nutrition students to analyze the data we obtained from students who have been working with the hydroponic system over the last 2 school years.  Grad students will help us to analyze pre and post intervention hydroponics/nutrition knowledge quizzes as well as pre and post food frequency questionnaires.  We are hopeful to see both an increase in knowledge and increased fruit and vegetable intake as a result of the KidsFit and hydroponics classes.  We will keep you posted!

Lastly, we’d just like to take the opportunity to thank the NJHCN team, especially our coach, Tiffany Neal.  Your support through this process has been critical!  Thank you to all who support this project and all the other grantees who are making an impact in their community.  We love reading about your work and can’t wait to hear more!

P.S. – here is a recipe we’ll be making next week for pesto with basil fresh from the Hydroponics System!

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.