Cedar Lane and Sugarland Receive Grants for School Gardens

Last month, Cedar Lane Elementary and Sugarland Elementary were the recipients of grants to help support their school garden efforts.  These grants were made possible by the Northern Virginia Dietetic Association (NVAND).  Each school received $100 from the organization.

These schools were selected from 12 applicants in the Northern Virginia region.  Each school submitted a detailed application where they had to describe the educational purpose and goals of their gardens while also discussing the impact and outcomes their garden had on the students and community.  Each application was ranked and voted on by board members of NVAND.

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NVAND President, Teresa Lucas and Sugarland Garden Coordinator, Darielle Timothy

Sugarland uses their school garden to help students learn the role they play in both the community and as health ambassadors.  The garden coordinators help students understand that growing nutritious foods can be done regardless of ones income level.  They focus on inquiry-based learning and real world problem solving so that students can understand how gardens directly relate to their lives; such as the garden to cafeteria initiative.  They develop consistent schedules for the garden so that each grade has responsibilities relating to the project.

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NVAND President Teresa Lucas and the Cedar Lane staff

 

Cedar Lane currently uses their garden to help their Autism classes learn curricular skills as well as career and working behaviors through garden-based activities.  They able to grow a variety of produce items which helps students become exposed to new foods.  Students learn the importance of following directions and reading recipes, conversational skills and money counting.  The Cafeteria Manager at Cedar Lane assists students with garden-based recipes and taste tests.  Cedar Lane also uses the harvest from their garden to host annual farmer’s markets at the school.  This allows the students to understand the background of having a business.

For more information on the farm to school program or school garden information in Loudoun County, please contact Stefanie Dove, RDN at Stefanie.Dove@LCPS.org or visit www.lcpshealthycafe.org

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Students Learn About Loudoun Farming All-Stars

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The Loudoun County Department of Economic Development, in cooperation with the Loudoun County Public Schools Division of School Nutrition, has created a new, fun series of Loudoun farmer trading cards for distribution in April to the county’s elementary school students.

Designed in baseball card style, each of 12 cards features a successful Loudoun farmer. The cards coincide with the School Nutrition Services’ USDA-funded Farm to School pilot program, which promotes partnerships with farmers to increase locally grown produce on school menus.

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“We saw this as a great opportunity to partner with Dr. Becky Domokos-Bays, supervisor of School Nutrition Services at the school system,” said Loudoun Agricultural Development Officer Kellie Boles. “Dr. Domokos-Bays and her team at LCPS are working hard to increase awareness among students about the importance of farming and fresh, local foods.”

“These trading cards not only help personalize our local farmers, but they do it in a fun way to help students learn about farming, maybe for the first time. The cards feature just a sampling of Loudoun’s hardworking, creative and thoughtful agricultural business leaders,” said Economic Development’s Executive Director Buddy Rizer.

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The farmers featured on the cards are from these Loudoun businesses:

• Faith Like a Mustard Seed Farm
• Georges Mill Artisan Cheese
• Great Country Farms
• Greenstone Fields Farm
• Lost Corner Farm
• Mill Road Farm
• Moutoux Orchard
• Potomac Vegetable Farms
• Spring House Farm
• Wegmeyer Farm
• Willowsford Farm