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Mayor Rahm Emanuel visited the 75th new Learning Garden installed at Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Elementary School, which is part of the Mayor’s larger plan to increase access to Learning Gardens to infuse healthy habits, reverse trends in childhood obesity and diabetes, improve academic performance, and strengthen communities. 100 learning gardens are being installed this year in schools across this City using privately raised funds and $1 Million in NATO Legacy Funds.
“Learning Gardens prepare our students for success in the classroom and beyond by instilling at an early age an appreciation of interactive learning and biology as well as creating a strong nutritional foundation that will serve them their entire life,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “The students here at Jahn Elementary and throughout the City now have access to more fresh produce, open space, and a proven program to improve student achievement and healthy eating habits.”
According to scientific research, sixth-grade students in a garden-based nutrition education program increased fruit and vegetable consumption by 2.5 servings/day, more than doubling overall fruit and vegetable consumption. Also, fifth grade students who participated in hands-on science lessons in a school garden scored 15 points higher on science tests on 100 point scale than students who learned in a typical classroom.
Organized and implemented by the nonprofit organization The Kitchen [Community] (TKC), Learning Gardens bring together parents, teachers, and community organizations to support student learning and provide students with hands-on nutrition and science education opportunities. The Kitchen Community has combined the experience of 8 years of school gardens in Colorado, Illinois, California, Massachusetts, and Arkansas to create Learning Gardens, permanent organic vegetable gardens and experiential learning environments on a school playground.
Learning Gardens are simple to create. The process engages the community by providing the school with the modular components to lay out their garden. The modular, organically shaped design allows for gardens as small as 500 square feet and as large as 3,000 square feet, on soil, concrete, rooftops or on gravel.
Learning Gardens have been installed at the following schools: Armstrong Elementary School, Bass Elementary School, Beasley Elementary, Beethoven Elementary, Brooks College Prep Academy, Budlong Elementary School, Burley Elementary School, Burnham Elementary School, Burr Elementary, Byrne Elementary School, Calmeca Elementary School, Chavez Elementary School, Columbia Explorers Elementary, Community Christian Academy, Courtenay Elementary, Cullen Elementary, Dawes Elementary School, DeDiego Elementary School, DePriest Elementary School, Dett Elementary School, Disney I Elementary School, Disney II Elementary School, Dunbar Elementary School, Earle Elementary School, Edwards Elementary School, Ellington Elementary School, Esmond Elementary School, Faraday Elementary School, Fenger Academy High School, Fort Dearborn, Gary Comer Youth Center, Gompers Elementary School, Greene Elementary School, Grimes Elementary School, Hampton Elementary School, Harvard Elementary School, Haugan Elementary School, Hefferan Elementary School, Hearst Magnet School, Jahn Elementary School, Juarez High School, Langston Hughes Elementary, Lavizzo Elementary School, Legal Prep Charter Academy, Lindblom Academy, Linne Elementary School, Marshall High School, McAuliffe Elementary School, McCutcheon Elementary School, Melody Elementary School, Miles Davis Elementary School, Morrill Math & Science School, Mount Vernon Elementary School, Nicholson Elementary, Otis Elementary School, Palmer Elementary School, Plamondon Elementary, Rogers Elementary School, Roosevelt High School, Ruiz Elementary School, Sherwood Elementary School, Simeon High School, Skinner Elementary School, Skinner North Classical School, South Shore Elementary, Southside Elementary School, Spencer Technology School, Taft High School, Taylor Elementary School, Tilton Elementary School, Velma Thomas Early Childhood , Wentworth Elementary School, West Suburban Montessori School, Westcott Elementary School, Willa Cather Elementary and Woodson Middle School.
Learning Gardens are part of the Mayor’s overall investments in students. Yesterday, the Mayor announced that Teacher in the Library program is now offered at all 80 Library locations. With the addition of online tutoring, the Chicago Public Library’s homework assistance program is now the largest and most comprehensive in the nation. The Mayor also pushed for a full school day starting in kindergarten, a full school year for every CPS student, and more high quality education options tailored to the specific needs of every child with more access to early education seats, IB, STEM, and strong neighborhood schools.
About The Kitchen [Community]
The Kitchen [Community] was established in 2011 as the philanthropic arm of a family of restaurants to connect kids to real food by creating Learning Gardens.
Photo Caption: Mayor Emanuel joins students to help build the 75th new learning garden at Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Elementary School.
Photo Credit: Brooke Collins // City of Chicago