Food literacy is growing at IDEA Public Schools. Just ask our Junior Master Gardeners.
“Being a Junior Master Gardener keeps you active,” said David Jones, 7th grader at IDEA Eastside College Preparatory, one of more than 150 Junior Master Gardeners across the IDEA Public Schools network. “I’ve learned so much this year about the amazing insects that help plants grow. I’ve learned about why it’s so important to eat the right foods.”
David is exemplifying a knowledge of food literacy. Food literacy is understanding the impact of your food choices on your health, the environment, and our economy. This is a promising sign for David and his fellow budding scholars at IDEA Public Schools, who were honored this week in Central Texas for achieving Junior Master Gardener status. IDEA’s Rio Grande Valley Junior Master Gardeners will be honored next week in Edinburg, Texas.
To become a Junior Master Gardener (JMG), one must complete the nationally-renowned program’s curriculum, which consists of meaningful horticulture, environmental science activities, and community involvement, led by one of IDEA’s own Master Gardeners. The JMG program provides an opportunity for youth to interact and bond with nature. As IDEA students progress in the JMG program, they learn how to conserve natural resources and make knowledgeable decisions about the environment.
David Jones, proudly grasping his official Junior Master Gardener certificate, stated: “It was so fun to plant tomatoes, carrots, squash, cucumbers, you name it. We even helped Praying Mantis hatch in our garden with our teacher in the garden, Ms. Parrish.” David and his peers are sure to take the knowledge they’ve learned in the farms and gardens with them wherever they go; leading healthy, active, and sustainable lives.
“I’m so excited to see all of these future growers,” said Mitch Hagney, CEO of Local Sprout, a hydroponic farming company based in San Antonio, Texas. Patrick Brennan, Agricultural Initiatives and Facilities Manager of the San Antonio foodbank, also addressed the IDEA scholars, stating: “You all are joining the mission to fight hunger and feed hope.”
Students, staff, and community members also enjoyed lunch (which included IDEA homegrown carrots), engaged in discussion, and took commemorative photos. It was a celebration of a growing love for education, healthy food, and the environment, and it’s sure to grow in years to come.
At IDEA Public Schools, we foster knowledge inside and outside the traditional classroom. Does your child want to become a Junior Master Gardener? Enroll today.