Dolby Elementary garden brings learning and health lessons to st - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Dolby Elementary garden brings learning and health lessons to students

Courtesy: Ohio State University/MGN Online Courtesy: Ohio State University/MGN Online
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's a fresh start for students at Dolby Elementary this year.

The elementary's community garden is getting national recognition. The school just earned a 2014 Partnership School Award from the National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University. The award goes to schools that use research-based approaches to organize and sustain programs of community involvement that will ultimately increase a student's success in school.

"I love seeing the garden grow and everything, it's just awesome," said third grader, Halle Ortego.

Students at Dolby plant and help take care of the garden. It's more than a hobby for the students.

"Every aspect of the garden from the construction and to the plants and harvest was a learning opportunity for the kids," said Business Director of Our Garden Grows, John O'Donnell. "The middle schoolers came out here and learned geometry, algebra, and then of course the life science growing it."

The garden also brings health benefits. With childhood obesity a national problem, these students are receiving firsthand access to healthy foods.    

"Essentially the garden is an initiative to get students thinking about fruits, vegetables, and kind of adapting a better attitude about fruits and vegetables," said Matthew Welsh, Regional Director of the American Heart Association.

With students promoting healthy foods, the purpose is to then reach to their homes.

"We see when they do that then they take this attitude home and it sort of grows with the family," said Welsh.

The school originally built the garden after receiving a grant from Christus St. Patrick. 

Dolby will now receive a plaque for the school for winning the award for their garden, along with other prizes.

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