DALLAS, Dec. 9, 2019 — The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, in collaboration with Kelly Meyer, founder of OneSun, and Gail Becker, CEO of CAULIPOWER, are boosting garden-based learning nationwide to support healthy food access and innovation in nutrition education.

Meyer and Becker provided a combined $125,000 which was distributed through 50 grants to members of the Association’s Teaching Gardens Network®, which plays an important role in school nutrition instruction, as it is rooted in the American Heart Association’s science and nutritional guidelines coupled with information from gardening and education experts.

“Less than 1% of children are eating ideal healthy diets and under 10% have reasonably healthy diets[1],” said Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., MPH, chief medical officer for Prevention and chief of the Center for Health Metrics and Evaluation for the American Heart Association. “The Teaching Gardens® elevate the conversation of health to the community level and brings together the essential decision-makers who can successfully impact the learning opportunities about and accessibility to the nutritious foods kids need to be healthy.”

American Heart Association Teaching Gardens are real-life laboratories for students to learn what it means to be healthy and how fruits and vegetables contribute to a balanced diet. School gardens pair a hands-on experience with an interactive nutrition curriculum to help students understand the importance of healthy food choices. Through the Teaching Garden Network, schools have access to free garden resources and curriculum to help their gardens become Teaching Gardens®. 

“Helping our students to form healthy habits is critical to their development,” said Crystal Wilson, educator at Wilson Hall Middle School in Grove Hill, AL. “The Teaching Gardens Network plays an important role in nutrition education, as it is rooted in science and nutritional guidelines, while providing our students a unique, fun and engaging environment for garden-based learning.”

In 2010, the American Heart Association teamed up with Meyer to create American Heart Association Teaching Gardens at schools across the country with the goal of helping students learn what it means to be healthy.

Grant recipients include:

Apollo Beach Elementary in Apollo Beach, FL

Asheville Primary School in Asheville, NC

Banta Elementary School in Tracy, CA

Beveridge Elementary School in Gary, IN

Bonduel Elementary School in Bonduel, WI

Brighton School in Glendale, AZ

Broad Avenue Elementary in Wilmington, CA

Capital City Public Charter School in Washington, DC

Central Park School for Children in Durham, NC

Chapel Hill Elementary School in Decatur, GA

Charles Drew Transition Center in Detroit, MI

Crestwood Elementary in Visalia, CA

E.B. Williams Stoner Hill Elementary Lab School in Shreveport, LA

Elm Road School in Mishawaka, IN

Environmental Charter School in Pittsburgh, PA

Evans County Schools in Claxton, GA

Excelsior Academy in Erda, UT

Franklin Elementary in Valley Center, KS

Frederick Elementary School in Baltimore, MD

Glades Central High School in Belle Glade, FL

Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts in Hartford, CT

Hamilton Elementary-Middle School in Detroit, MI

Hebron-Harman Elementary School in Hanover, MD

Impact Charter School in Baker, LA

Indian Hills Elementary School in North Little Rock, AR

Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, MI

Jefferson Elementary School in Carlsbad, CA

Johnson Youth Center in Juneau, AK

Lucille Smith Elementary School - RAP Program in Lawndale, CA

Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles,  CA

McAlister High School – Southwest in Los Angeles, CA

Meeting Street Elementary @ Burns in North Charleston, SC

Montessori School of Denver in Denver, CO

North Bay Children's Center McDowell School in Petaluma, CA

Norwood Elementary in Oliver Springs, TN

O'Donnell Elementary in Odonnell, TX

Odyssey Academy in Galveston, TX

Round Rock DAEP in Round Rock,  TX

Spalding Park Elementary in Sioux City, IA

St. Anne Catholic School in Wichita, KS

St. Anthony Elementary in Long Beach, CA

Stockbridge Schools in Stockbridge, WI

Strong Vincent Middle School in Erie, PA

Takotna Community School in Takotna, AK

Taylor County Schools in Campbellsville , KY

Thomas Paine Elementary in Urbana, IL

Tower Grove Christian Academy in St. Louis, MO

Triangle Elementary School in Mount Dora, FL

UW-Oshkosh Head Start in Oshkosh, WI

Wilson Hall Middle School in Grove Hill, AL


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   

For Media Inquiries: 214-706-1173

Linzy Cotaya: 504-872-3446; Linzy.Cotaya@heart.org  

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org


[1] Lloyd-Jones, et al. Defining and Setting National Goals for Cardiovascular Health Promotion and Disease Reduction

The American Heart Association’s Strategic Impact Goal Through 2020 and Beyond http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/121/4/586