Edible Schoolyard NYC (ESYNYC) is teaching kids how to plant their own food and understand where it comes from, so they make healthier eating decisions.
“It is not something that most kids are learning about,” stated executive Director Kate Brashares. “It is not something that most schools have, so to have it as part of the regular context of the school day, I think it elevates how important this is and makes kids realize that this is something that they should be learning about.”
ESYNYC uses gardens and kitchen classes to teach kids about healthy eating and food waste every day.
“It’s really positive education, it’s really hands-on,” said Brashares. “It’s all about the kids experiencing food, experiencing delicious food, out in the garden growing fruits and vegetables pulling the carrots from the soil. Getting to eat them and experience the magic of growing something yourself and then eating it.”
The program uses hands-on teaching, so the lessons about food really stick — even outside the classroom. And it’s not just about healthy habits for the kids, but the planet, too. One of the edible schoolyard programs saves fruit that kids would otherwise throw away during lunch and saves them in case they get hungry at the end of the day.
ESYNYC hopes the kids come away with lifelong lessons and helps them become advocates for their own health.