On October 25th, an APS Farm to School and Garden Tour was held at Centennial Place Elementary School as a part of the new Captain Planet Foundation (CPF) Learning Gardens Program recently implemented in 40 APS schools.
Teachers, parents, community partners and school nutritionists shared how Farm to School programs are changing the lives of APS students, and what resources and support are needed for growth. APS is bringing more fresh local food to school meals, and students are learning about healthy food through hands-on integrated curriculum and edible learning gardens.
The garden tour event was hosted by Georgia Organics, the Captain Planet Foundation, Centennial Place Elementary School, Atlanta City Council Member Kwanza Hall and representatives of the APS Farm to School Program.
“It’s so exciting to be kicking off our partnership with Atlanta Public Schools, and providing 40 learning gardens, mobile cooking carts, curriculum lessons and supplies, and summer garden management,” says Leesa Carter, Director of Captain Planet Foundation. “This is an extraordinary partnership that wouldn’t have been possible without all of the departments in APS; we have everyone on board and we’re so excited to get started.”
The Captain Planet Foundation has developed garden-based lessons tied to K-5 Common Core Standards, and encourages the idea that the school garden is an extension of the traditional classroom rather than an extracurricular activity. After 20 years of funding school gardens, a grant from Kaiser Permanente and Georgia Power allowed CPF to develop a cost-effective turnkey program for installing learning gardens as a vital part of primary education. CPF Learning Gardens teach youth about their natural world and their relationship to the environment and provide them with an early introduction to fresh vegetables and fruits.
Program partners include Atlanta Community Food Bank, Atlanta Fixture & Sales Co., Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation, Cobb County School District, Dole Foods Co., EPA Region 4, Ford Elementary Foundation, Georgia Aquarium, Kaiser Permanente, Keep America Beautiful, Kendeda Fund, Keep Cobb Beautiful, Publix Supermarkets, SCANA Energy, SEEAG, Truly Living Well, UGA College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, and the U.S. Forest Service.