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  1. Improving Nutrition Through School and Community Gardens Jill A Nolan, PhD Assistant Professor of Health Education Concord University KidStrong Conference Charleston WV June 12, 2013

  2. Childhood Obesity • West Virginia has one the highest rates of Childhood obesity nationally • An estimated 45.5% of WV 5th graders are overweight or obese (CARDIAC) • Children in Rural areas have been found to be at increased risk for overweight and obesity (Patterson, 2004)

  3. Obesogenic Environment • Historically, Thin Population (Long, 2012) • Elevated rates of Poverty • How does the Environment in WV Support • Inactivity? • Poor Nutrition?

  4. Fruits and Vegetables • Essential for good nutrition • Struggle for children raised on processed foods • How to improve fruit and vegetable consumption?? • Increase Availability and Accessibility • School-based programs (Blanchette & Brug, 2005)

  5. School Gardening Benefits • Quantitative findings: • Fruit and vegetable consumption • Variety (Ratcliffe, et al., 2011) • Science scores • Qualitative findings: • Pleased and motivated students • Improved school attitude and Price • Parent involvement • Community building (Blair, 2009)

  6. Traditional School Gardens • Located at the School • Built into the current curriculum (science and Health) • Incorporate community involvement • Students are involved: • Soil health --Planting • Composting --Fertilizing • Plant selection --harvesting

  7. Child Gardening Options • Green House • Low tunnel • High tunnel • Summer School

  8. Child Gardening Options • Kids Garden Project (citation) • Kingwood WV • Children Grow Individual Gardens • Edible Forest Gardens • Mimic forest ecosystem • Grow food, fuel, fiber, etc.

  9. Child Gardening Options • Daycare • Benefit of having children year-round • Target children during “picky” years

  10. Influential factors • Teacher motivation • Teacher knowledge • Teacher experience • Dedicated time • Community involvement

  11. Getting Started! • Evaluate Available Space • Identify resources/partnerships • Check Soil Health • Design Challenge • Plant Palette • Build and use your garden (USDA’s People’s Garden Initiative)

  12. Discussion Groups • Daycare/Prek • Elementary • Middle/High School • Higher Education • Community

  13. References • Blair, D. (2009) The child in the garden: An evaluative review of the benefits of school gardening. The Journal of Environmental Education, 40(2), 15-38. • Blanchette, L. & Brug, J. (2005). Determinants of fruit and vegetable consumption among 6-12-year-old children and effective interventions to increase consumption. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 18(6), 431-443. • CARDIAC. Retrieved on May 13, 2013 from: http://www.cardiacwv.org/results.php • Komosinski, M., Nolan, J., O’Hara Tompkins, N., Drake, B., et al. Growing Healthy Habits in Rural West Virginia Communities: Evaluation of the Kingwood Kids Garden Project. Presented at the American Public Health Associations XXX annual meeting in Denver, , CO. • Long, K. (2012) The Shape We’re In. Charleston Gazette, retrieved on May 13, 2013 from: http://www.wvgazette.com/News/theshapewerein/201202250085 • Patterson, PD, et al. Obesity and physical inactivity in rural America. J Rural Health, 2004. 20(2): p. 151-9. • Ratcliffe, M., Merrigan, K., Rogers, B., & Goldberg, J. (2011). The effects of school garden experiences on middle school-aged students’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors associated with vegetable consumption. Health Promotion Practice, 12(1), 36-43. • USDA’s People’s Garden Initiative. School Garden Checklist. Retrieved on May 13, 2013 from: http://www.letsmove.gov/sites/letsmove.gov/files/pdfs/LM%20School%20Garden%20Checklist_0.pdf Pictures • http://voiceinthegarden.blogspot.com/2011/01/hoop-house-high-tunnel-polytunnel.html • http://www.veggiegardeningtips.com/blanketing-the-garden-for-a-long-winters-slumber/ • http://www.goveganic.net/article157.html