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Health Check: Community garden learning

Health Check: Community garden learning. (NBC 10 Photo)

An expanded wellness policy is now in place in Providence public schools. This includes everything from nutrition to emotional well-being.

One of the components of this initiative includes getting elementary students involved in the concept of farm to table.

And at the Martin Luther King elementary school, there’s a perfect resource. A community garden in their own backyard run by the University of Rhode Island.

Today’s activity for Jenna Simpson’s third grade class: a garden scavenger hunt.

“I get to see all nature and stuff like that,” said Angel Lombardi-Ortiz, who found a slug. His friend, Gabriel Prince found a salamander.

"It's fun for them,” said Simpson. “It's great for us and it's really nice to have them excited about learning, but also increase their knowledge about what's in the garden and how it's beneficial to us."

“I found apples, tomatoes and flowers,” said Katherine Amado.

This particular exercise part of a larger wellness initiative through the providence public schools.

“Wellness is really more than just food and exercise, said Bobby Gondola, secretary of the Providence Public School Board.

“It's about healthy relationships, social/emotional learning and so our schools are really providing opportunities for our kids and for our families to be exposed and embrace the healthy goals that are required for life."

And while they're learning about farm to table in MLK community garden, other schools are also embarking on healthy activities.

"At Pleasant View our kids are doing the great apple tasting so they're exposed to healthy apples at school but it's more than that,” said Gondola. “At Vartan Gregorian. our kids are walking or biking to school today."

Part of this initiative includes free healthy breakfast and lunches for all elementary school students in Providence and rewarding students with healthy snacks.

For more on this new expanded wellness policy click here.


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