The Saraz Foundation is honored to sponsor the South Jackson Elementary Farm to School program in Jackson County, Georgia, USA. In this class, every student in kindergarten through 5th grade learns Science, Math and more through hands on experiential garden based education. Mr. Stephen Lush is the “SciEnhancement” teacher of the program, where students learn about growing food from seed to plate through planting, growing, harvesting, cooking and eating. The program also offers nutrition based cooking classes, brings in local chefs to cook harvested produce in the cafeteria, and provides fresh food for the weekend BackPack program for students in need of food assistance. More details about the program and its history can be found HERE.
South Jackson Elementary also hosts the Taste of South Fundraiser each year for the Farm to School program. The event highlights local chiefs creating simple recipes that can be replicated at home using local and in season ingredients.
The Jackson County School System has been recognized with the Golden Radish Award in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The award is a prestigious state-wide farm to school distinction which acknowledges the outstanding leadership of school representatives building comprehensive farm to school programs.
“Having access to locally grown fruits and vegetables is so important for teaching children healthy eating habits now,” said Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald. “Poor nutrition can cause health problems, obesity, and inhibit healthy brain development, including the ability to acquire language and literacy. The habits children pick up at this age will lead to healthy physical, emotional and intellectual outcomes that they will carry into adolescence and adulthood.”
The Saraz Foundation is inspired by and honored to sponsor the Farm to School program. We are delighted to see programs like this growing throughout Georgia and we hope to see many more “SciEnhancement” programs continue to grow throughout the world’s education systems. Such programs give students the opportunity to get outside, learn about where their food comes from and how to create it themselves. In many places, healthy organic fruits and vegetables can be grown fairly easily at home on a small area of lawn or in a container for considerably less than they can be purchased in a store. Sharing these skills with our children is one of the easiest ways to promote self sufficiency and environmental sustainability as well as a healthy, happy, and balanced seventh generation of life on planet Earth.