Grantee Blog

Growing Healthy Habits: Learning to Ride and Garden at Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Project U.S.E. and community partner Second Life Bikes worked with students from Our Lady of Mount Carmel School over the summer to educate them about local seasonal foods and give students a sense of ownership over the new school and community garden they have helped to build.

The group included 3rd and 4th grade students who worked in the garden to weed, water the garden beds, learn to identify the different plants, and how to harvest them.  The students were able to harvest plants that were started in the garden earlier in the year, and every student was able to bring home fresh vegetables to their families and begin to develop healthy eating habits.  The garden had a wonderful variety of plants and vegetables selected by the students, including corn, tomatoes, string beans, jalapeno peppers, kale, basil, and rosemary.

However, the best part of the summer was having many of the students learn to ride bicycles and learn bike safety with Kerri Martin from Second Life Bikes in Asbury Park.  Many of the students were learning to ride for the first time, and thanks to Second Life Bikes each student will leave the program with a bike helmet, a bike lock, and their very own bicycle.

These students will be role models for other students around developing healthy habits, and hopefully set new trends of biking to school and healthy eating habits when the new school year starts!

About the Grantee

Project U.S.E.

Project U.S.E. is an experiential education organization based in Newark, New Jersey with over 40 years of experience providing hands-on learning experiences for groups of all ages and backgrounds. Project U.S.E. provides diverse programming, including school and community gardening, professional development workshops, and outdoor education programs at our Wildcat Mountain Wilderness Center.