This video is about the Chapa Community Garden Project Proposal. Presentation and proposal by Jessica Busceme.
Chapa Middle School Community Service Project Proposal
Do you know a student who struggles with access to healthy, affordable food? As educators, we want our students to be healthy and successful, inside and outside of the school.
Hays County residents have a 23.8% obesity rate, 13.2% are food-insecure, and 16.51% of residents have low access to grocery stores. There is a need in our school community for more healthy lifestyle choices.
Having a school garden serves the purpose of educating students about where food comes from. It also provides essential healthy and fresh food to students who need it most.
Benefits of students who participate in school-based gardening programs include improved academic performance, increased physical and social-emotional health, garden-based learning, inclusivity of garden use, and increased connections to local and fresh food.
Faculty and staff benefits include access to the garden before and after school, during lunch breaks, and during school holidays and summer break. Additionally, there are many opportunities for cross-curricular, social and emotional, and career and technology learning to take place. Students with behavior issues may also benefit from redirection and incentives in the garden.
Challenges of starting a school garden may include: -lack of volunteer support, pest, animal or weed issues, vandalism or destruction of property, or lack of time for teacher support.
This project will be funded by previously obtained grants that are specifically designated for a sustainable gardening program at Chapa Middle School.
The current grant amount will pay for the construction, installation, and maintenance of a minimum of three separate 7’x3’x2′ garden beds, a large garden shed, and hand tools and gardening supplies for a large group of students and adults.
Chapa is preparing to partner with The Sustainable Food Center, Hays County Master Gardeners, Austin Community College Sustainable Agriculture Program, and the Chapa Parent and Teacher Association.
So, why should the board approve this community service project? Despite the challenges that starting and maintaining a school garden may hold, there are many benefits, like improving the health and sustainability of our school climate. Providing a garden program to our students will help them be more successful in the most important way- their health.