a civil society alliance for combatting chronic disease in the caribbean

Healthy Caribbean Coalition - Super Centre Report on School Garden & Healthy Lifestyle Competition

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BACKGROUND

Super Center Garden CompetitionThere is growing evidence that food production alone makes little impact on dietary practice. Likewise, nutrition education which focuses only on knowledge seldom transfers to dietary practice. However the combination of nutrition education and vegetable gardening has a proven impact on diet.

 In other words, Gardening and Nutrition Education is a Winning Combination.

With this in mind, but recognizing that it was late in the term and exams were being done, it was decided to celebrate what schools were actually already doing in this area and to reward them in some way.

It was noted that there should be emphasis on a school garden ‘food system’ which encompasses Nutrition: food, health, community, economic development and Agriculture: growing, harvesting, processing, distribution , consumption and disposal of food and food-related items.

METHODOLOGY

Super Center Healthy Lifestyle Competition
  • Communication with the 4-H Foundation revealed that primary schools did not have Home Economics rooms , so it was decided to consider secondary schools instead. The assistance of the Ministry of Education was sought in contacting schools to determine their interest. However, this approach did not yield the expected timely results, so the task was undertaken by the SC Consultant Agronomist. Thirty two schools (private and public) were contacted to determine which had both gardens and Home Economics rooms. Of the thirty two, thirteen met the necessary requirements.
  • However, the general response from schools was that they had neglected their gardens because of exams and had harvested the produce as part of the CXC exams. Further more they were involved in graduation and other activities so would not be able to participate. They would however, be interested if given more notice during the next school year. Harrison College had an outstanding greenhouse in production, but since it was learned that the work was done by the gardener rather than by the students, the school was not eligible. St George Secondary and Grantley Adams School both have greenhouses, but were readying themselves for an IICA project during the summer holidays.
  • In spite of this disappointing response, it was decided to go ahead with the project, since the two schools , Lodge and Industry High, which agreed to participate were extremely enthusiastic. Although the process of calling schools was time consuming and did not yield the anticipated result, valuable information was collected which will assist with future competitions.
  • The two schools were visited By Dr Frances Chandler (Consultant Agronomist and Ms. Zonia Phillips (Consultant Nutritionist) on Tuesday June 26th.

View or Download (Right click save link/target as) the full report including the results from each school here

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