FirstSchool Garden Receives $100,000 Grant
The FirstSchool Garden program will be able to expand thanks to a large grant.
The program, operated by Communities In Schools of Moore County, recently received $100,000 from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) Foundation. The FirstSchool Garden program is a previous foundation grant recipient that has shown significant results.
"To educate children about making healthy choices as part of our childhood obesity prevention, we teach them an appreciation of good nutrition with a hands-on approach, reinforcing school curriculum in addition to healthy behaviors," said Cynthia Bradley, executive director of Communities In Schools of Moore County. "The BCBSNC Foundation's support allows us to further our impact and to continue establishing and advancing the garden programs in our schools in Moore County. Without their support, we could not do what we do today."
Kathleen Byron, program developer and director, said she will use this new investment to continue to grow the breadth and reach of the program's successes in achieving changes in the relationship children have with food, including healthy lifestyles and sustainability.
Through the grant, Communities In Schools will be able to expand the classroom curriculum, bolster family involvement, enhance professional development with teacher training through a Sandhills Community College partnership, cultivate Teen Health Ambassadors and facilitate farm-to-school initiatives.
Over three years, the FirstSchool Garden Program has blossomed from a "seed" at one elementary school to a mainstay of student learning at 10 public schools in Moore County.
In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the BCBSNC Foundation is investing $1 million in 10 nonprofit organizations across North Carolina. Each organization, former BCBSNC Foundation grantees, received $100,000 to continue efforts that positively impact the health of their local residents.
"After 10 successful years, we reflect on the partnerships and relationships that are making strides in access to care, healthy eating, physical activity and enabling nonprofits to do their good work throughout North Carolina," said Kathy Higgins, president of the BCBSNC Foundation. "Our continued investment in Communities In Schools of Moore County, along with our other nine anniversary grantees, represents our commitment to partner with organizations that are demonstrating real impact and that share in our mission - to improve the health and well-being of North Carolinians."
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