Kindergarten Initiative Evaluation

IMG_0472Fertile Ground has teamed up with the MA Farm to School Project and the Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council to evaluate the Kindergarten Initiative in Worcester and Holyoke classrooms. The Kindergarten Initiative [first developed by the Food Trust in Philadelphia] is a year-long experiential learning program in wellness and foodways for five year-olds, their teachers and families, through farm visits, taste tests of local vegetables, fruits, and cheeses, and cooking demonstrations. Both communities suffer from a disproportionate level of diet related illnesses such as early onset diabetes and obesity, due to lack of access to healthy foods. The KI complements the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program, which offers funding for a healthy snack of raw fruits or vegetables several times a week. We have designed participatory, educational evaluation workshops, conversations and surveys, to assess what the kindergarten children are learning about healthy eating and local foods. We are pleased to contribute to creating effective programs in both school districts.