MPS students plant state’s first teaching garden

Written by admin   // May 17, 2013   // 0 Comments

Program to encourage children to develop healthy eating habits The boxes were built and the dirt was delivered. On Friday, May 10th, students at River Trail Elementary filled planter boxes and planted a variety of fruit and vegetable seeds and seedlings.

This is all part of the American Heart Association’s Teaching Garden program. The garden at River Trail Elementary is sponsored by a generous grant from the Nicholas Family Foundation and is the first Teaching Garden to be planted in the state of Wisconsin.

Master gardeners and other volunteers helped the students plant, tend and eventually harvest the gardens. Students planted beans, corn, Swiss chard, broccoli, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, squash, cabbage, kale, strawberries, watermelon, kohlrabi, cauliflower and lettuce.

The Teaching garden program also includes a corresponding curriculum which will help the students learn even more in the classroom about healthy eating, exercise and the importance of avoiding tobacco use.

Studies have shown that children who learn how fresh fruits and vegetables are grown are more likely to choose those items as part of a healthy diet. Eighty percent of heart disease and stroke can be prevented by avoiding tobacco, exercising more and eating a healthier diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables.

NewsUSA – Playtime is central to a child’s development. Many experts agree that reading, however, is just as important.

According to Richard E. Bavaria, Ph.D., senior vice president of education outreach for Sylvan Learning, now is the perfect time for learning and discovery. “It’s very important that children continue to practice their academic skills year-round as strong reading skills are incredibly important for all subjects in school. The more children read, the more they’ll enjoy reading, and the better readers they’re likely to become.”

Here are some reading tips from the brain-trust at the National Learning Association and tutoring authority, Sylvan Learning.

* Be a reading role model. By spending time reading, you show your child that reading is both fun and useful.

* Set aside a consistent time each day for reading. Depending on your family’s schedule, reading time might be in the morning, afternoon or before bed. Whatever time you choose, stick to it! Consistency is key to building good habits.

* Let your child make their reading choices. Let kids read whatever they want. Now is a good time to encourage reading about topics they don’t study during school to explore new interests, discover new talents or delve into old hobbies.

* Get your child to savor the book she or he is reading. Don’t rush through a book — take time to enjoy it. Have your child stop and think about plot points and characters. This will develop their analytical skills.

* Set goals and reward effort. Reward reading with more reading. Download the next book in your child’s favorite series on your tablet or Kindle. Let your child peruse library catalogues online for e-books.

* Read the book, then watch the movie. Few things make kids feel more “superior” than comparing and contrasting a movie to the book it’s based on. “That’s not the way it was in the book!” Let them explain the differences, guess why a director made those changes and then discuss which version they preferred.

* Go online for ideas. There are lots of websites for kids’ book choices. Visit for reading tips, book suggestions and educational games.




Milwaukee Public Schools






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