Mrs. Roxie Schallberg quickly acknowledged that implementing the Lowe's garden grant required more than just a vision. After Madison Elementary received the grant money, there were steps to take with the district, school and maintenance staff to make this vision come to life.
To begin the garden project, Angelica Perez, UC CalFresh coordinator, supported Mrs. Roxie Schallberger in applying for the grant. Once the grant was awarded she was able to guide her in scheduling a meeting to help her in the initial steps to begin the grant implementation. In the meeting was Madison Principal Mercedes Ochoa, and Curtis Manganaan, Director of Maintenance and Operations for the district. They both played a key role in helping to identify barriers and solutions and how to bring together a new garden at the school site. As the meeting ended, all the information and next steps where identified and the garden vision was soon becoming a reality.
The garden beds were recommended to be built by Ripperdan Community Day School in Madera, CA. Students in Mr. Scanlan's wood shop class were tasked with building the wooden garden beds and benches for Madison. Maintenance staff are also much appreciated for the design of the garden location, leveling the ground, fencing off the area and in making the garden area nice and easy to use. Finally, the “We Believe in Healthy Living" Madison Mavericks garden sign came in after the beds and benches were in place. The garden is now ready to be fully used. Although the original plan for the Madison garden took a turn in the beginning planning changes, the new location and design was even better than the original plan.
The We Believe in Healthy Living Garden at Madison Elementary was a big team effort that created impactful connections with Mrs. Schallberger, Madison Staff, UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program, Lowe's, Ripperdan Community Day School and the school district and maintenance staff. All of these collaborations and contributions make the Madison Mavericks We Believe in Healthy Living garden project even more special. The school looks forward to its official garden opening day next year and will plan to have lessons in the garden for all grade levels that wish to participate. Below are some pictures detailng the progress of the garden.
Madison Elementary School from Madera Unified School School District has received a $5,000 Lowe's Toolbox for Education grant for a school garden project.
We are thrilled to announce that Lowe's has awarded the Madison Elementary School funding for the Madison Mavericks "WE BELIEVE" in Healthy Living! garden project. Our grant application was based on the goal of improving the learning community at Madison Elementary School. We look forward to sharing the Madison Mavericks “WE BELIEVE” in Healthy Living! garden project with the Madison Elementary and surrounding community. This garden will give the students the opportunity to learn, plant, harvest and try new foods which they will have experienced to cultivate on their own. This will ultimately nurture and improve the learning community at Madison Elementary School.
The grant application was based on the goal of implementing the garden component of the Shaping Healthy Choices Program in Mrs. Roxie Schallberger's 4th grade classroom. The Shaping Healthy Choices Program is an inquiry-based, garden enhanced nutrition education curricula developed by the Center for Nutrition in Schools at UC Davis and is being implemented in the classroom by UC CalFresh Coordinator, Angelica Perez. We are now in the planning stages of this project, but are eager to get the garden growing for the students to learn.
Mrs. Roxie Schallbereger's 4th grade class holding a thank you sign and the $5,000 check donated by Lowe's.
“Thank you Lowe's for awarding Madison Elementary this grant! Your generosity will allow our students to touch worms, smell fresh herbs, taste new foods, and see the beauty of growing healthy food!" said Mrs. Roxie Schallberger.
All K-12 public schools in the United States are eligible for the Toolbox for Education program. More information is available at www.ToolboxforEducation.com.
As the lessons continued, the student groups were assigned a country and an artwork project that gathered different information about their country. This information included the agriculture practices, food that was grown and sold and even some cultural dishes. The students had fun creating their country's artwork.
The groups did a wonderful job in representing their respective countries and also showed how creative they are!
Madera Unified School District is in the second year of the Carol M. White Physical Education Program Grant, and continues to provide quality physical education in all schools. Some of the major goals of this grant are to help students in improving physical fitness and encouraging healthy eating habits. Other items include also providing the physical education teachers with more approaches to teach physical education and nutrition. The wellness committee is heavily involved in the promotion of student health. Several agencies who focus on community nutrition education joined forces to help meet the grant's goals. UC CalFresh, Dairy Council of California and the Local Public Health Department partner and provide nutrition education resources to MUSD physical education teachers. Together these agencies collaborate to provide trainings, such as basic nutrition, curriculum implementation and will continue to support teachers throughout the year.
Presenters: Phoebe Copp, Dairy Council of California (left) and Angelica Perez, UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program (right) providing one of the first nutrition trainings to Madera Unified Physical Education Teachers.
UC CalFresh is taking part by providing nutrition resources for 6th-grade students and has begun training sessions with their physical education teachers using the Eat Fit Curriculum. The curriculum will allow the students to create goals intended to help in the improvement of eating and fitness lifestyle choices. Aligning goals with our partners is key for success. The students will reap the benefits of the Madera Unified School District (MUSD) Wellness Committee.
- Author: Angelica Perez
- Editor: Emily Harris
UC CalFresh had a special visitor stop by to see what impact our nutrition program is having in Madera Unified School District. Ms. Nava's 2nd grade class at La Vina Elementary School learned all about “Varying Your Protein Food Choices" along with Congressman Jim Costa. This lesson focused on choosing a healthy balance of plant and lean animal protein foods every day. The students put their knowledge to the test during a group activity, where they helped each other sort out what foods come from plant sources and what foods come from animal sources.
Costa even participated in mixing together the Mango and Black Bean Salad recipe with Nutrition Program Coordinator, Angelica Perez. He began calling himself, “Mr. Mixer” during the recipe activity, which the students loved! A couple of students even asked for seconds from Mr. Mixer!
Students also joined in on an indoor physical activity called "Animal Charades" with Nutrition Educator, Austin Cantrell. They had fun acting out different animals without making a sound. Overall, the students enjoyed the experience and learned what Costa's role is as a congressman, and how he represents our Central Valley communities in Washington, D.C.
Pictured above, Principal Navarro, Ms. Nava and Congressman Jim Costa at La Vina Elementary in Madera, CA./span>