Friday, October 5, 2012

Woodview Elementary volunteers build outdoor gardens

Staff, students and community groups built vegetable, herb and butterfly gardens Sept. 8 at Woodview Elementary School as one part of the grant-funded Recipe 4 Success Seed-to-Plate nutrition education program. The Sept. 8 weekend gathering included administrators, students and families and volunteers from the Spring Woods Humanitarian Club and neighborhood.

By end of the workday, community volunteers had built four, 12-feet long garden beds, a herb garden and separate butterfly garden. In addition to hauling soil and laying cinder blocks, the volunteer teams also dug holes for future planting of fruit trees.

Woodview Elementary is located at 9749 Cedardale. Garden construction is part of a longer-term, grant-funded program at the Spring Branch ISD elementary school to help all students learn about gardening, proper nutrition and modern culinary practices. Over time, students may plant, nurture, harvest and then eat their own food.

Through its 21st Century After School Grant, also known as the ACE Program, the school elected to spend a portion of its available funds on the future physical health and well being of students by partnering with Houston-based Recipe for Success, a nonprofit group that hopes to take its Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education program to a national audience soon.

So far, about 16,000 children have been introduced to the program during the past seven years. Woodview Elementary teachers Susan Parker, Liberty Demesa and Ivy Linsley are certified instructors in the program. Supporting program efforts are Principal Neda Scanlan and Assistant Principal Becky Hagan. The elementary will also be a pilot location for Recipe for Success as it prepares its national rollout.

The after school program is funded through the ACE grant and directed by Kathryn Hicks. The program’s three classes of 15 students meet after school twice weekly.

On one day, they garden. On the other, students learn cooking and nutrition skills. Gardening beds will also be made available to teachers and students during school day hours, organizers said. The Spring Woods High School Humanitarian Club has a goal of 10,000 volunteer hours.

“The students had fun and got sweaty, but they all enjoy helping others, and giving back to their community,” teacher Susan Parker said.

For more information on Recipe for Success, please visit the group’s website:


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