Mackrille School launches student garden with donation
Mackrille School launches student garden with donation
Posted on 01/22/2014
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WEST HAVEN, Sept. 11, 2013 — A new student garden program has sprouted at Edith E. Mackrille School, thanks to a donation from the American Heart Association.

Kids, teachers, parents, West Haven High School peer advocates and American Heart Association representatives planted herbs, lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower and more Monday in one of the school’s two courtyards. Mackrille is one of a few schools in the state to be chosen to participate in the association’s Teaching Gardens program.

The initiative, which is sponsored by Covidien, aims to fight childhood obesity, while also teaching youngsters about healthy eating and gardening.

“What an opportunity for the kids,” Principal Judith Drenzek said. “I look at this as an ongoing process because we’ll use it every year.”

The association provided the school with donations worth several hundred dollars, including more than 100 established plants, gardening equipment, raised beds, bags of soil and a camera to document plant growth. Students will now help with watering and monitoring the crops.

Produce will be harvested in about three weeks. Drenzek hopes the school’s food services staff can use the herbs and veggies in student meals.

In the spring, the organization will give the school additional plants.

Teachers will incorporate the project into writing, health education and language activities, while science lessons suggested by the American Heart Association appear to match the current science curriculum, according to Drenzek.

Superintendent of Schools Neil Cavallaro added, “We’re excited Mackrille was chosen to participate in Teaching Gardens. It’s a unique learning experience for the kids and is giving the school the tools it needs to continue the program beyond this year.”

The gardening effort takes advantage of a space that had gone generally unused. Prior to being chosen for the Teaching Gardens program, Mackrille had been cleaning and revamping both courtyards with help from parents and maintenance staff so that they could be utilized.

Contact: Communications Director Susan Misur, 203-937-4300 X7114;