Students from three Queensland schools are getting their green thumbs on thanks to Life Education and Yates.
Proserpine State School, north of Mackay, Livingstone Christian College Early Learning Centre at Ormeau, on the Gold Coast and Barkly Highway State School in Mt Isa were each awarded a $1000 grant in the Growing Good Gardens Grants program.
The winning trio were among 10 schools chosen from 743 entries across Australia.
Entrants submitted their plans for creative gardens and outlined how their projects will help foster healthy nutrition, physical activity, environmental learning and positive relationships among students and their community.
The winners have inspired us with their impressive garden design concepts! Want inspiration for your school garden project? Read about the three winning Queensland entries below:
Proserpine State School will use the grant to grow fruit trees, vegetables, and herbs for their Little Boots Tuckshop Garden.
Catering for nearly 700 students, the school tuckshop is currently evaluating healthier menu options and part of this process involves growing their own organic produce. The school also participates in Life Education Queensland’s innovative Healthy Eats nutrition program which supports schools across the year, with a suite of resources and activities to boost students’ vegetable and fruit consumption and build a healthier school food environment.
School P & C Treasurer Amanda Eglinton said the new garden project would involve the whole school community.
“Not only will this garden provide our students with fresh produce and healthier food options, in the bigger picture the project will also be valuable in educating students on how their food is produced and hopefully instil a love of gardening as well,” Ms Eglinton said.
“With the help of our garden club, local community members, volunteers from our dedicated P&C group and our ‘Little Boots’ Tuckshop team, we are keen, determined and excited to transform this area into an eating garden paradise – and a fun place for the kids to play and hang out in. Various year levels will also use this area as part of their curriculum, hopefully for years to come.”
Pre-prep children at Ormeau’s Livingstone Christian College Early Learning Centre are excited to get their hands grubby in their Flourishing Foods Garden.
Created next to their eating area, the garden will help the children learn about how humans interact with plants, the land and animals, and the role of bees in the garden. The students will use the harvested produce to cook healthy afternoon teas including stir-fry, as an extension of their Chinese study.
Early Learning Centre teacher Jessica Parsons said the project would enhance learning about healthy food choices.
“In the years I’ve been teaching, I’ve seen that when children understand how food is grown and where it comes from, they have a better appreciation of healthy eating and making good choices,” Mrs Parsons said.
“When they are invested in growing food themselves, they engage in the learning on a deeper level. They also take the health and wellbeing knowledge that they gain at school home to their families and share it with them.”
Mt Isa’s Barkly Highway State School will create the Lehmann’s Legacy Garden to honour much-loved teacher aide Mrs Lehmann and provide an enriching educational area teeming with fruit and vegetable plants for Prep students to nurture.
The school also aims to provide food for their ‘Chappy Breakfasts’ & ‘no lunch-
no-worries’ program. The new garden will include a compost section, shaded garden with seating, and an imaginative ‘farm-to-shop’ play panel.
P and C President Mischa Grummitt says more than 50 students will be involved in the project.
“The school’s aim is to increase awareness of sustainable living through study units extending from Prep to Grade 6,” Mr Grummitt said.
“For example, in one of our Design and Technology units for Prep students, children investigate food and where it comes from, establish design solutions to fix growing problems, and when food has grown, prepare it for a recipe such as a fruit salad.
“The Yates and Life Education Growing Good Gardens Grants Program will help keep our garden thriving long after Mrs Lehmann’s departure from Barkly Highway State School. The educational outcomes of our Lehmann’s Legacy Garden will positively influence our whole school.”