PHILIPSBURG – Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT) Hon. Claret Connor earlier in the week visited the school garden of the Seventh Day Adventist School in Cole Bay. Minister Connor, was very impressed with what the elementary school children along with their teachers have been able to achieve, and pointed out that school gardens help promote lifelong healthy eating habits.
The school garden is part of the community school and teaching kids how to grow vegetables and fruits is part of the curriculum.
In general school gardens are cultivation areas or so-called ‘school laboratories.’ The aforementioned provides agricultural knowledge and skills, and makes the teaching of Science and Environmental Education more relevant and effective.
It also may benefit pupils, as the future food producers and provide some nutritional support to them.
These gardens mainly produce vegetables and fruits, and some may include small-scale animal husbandry and fishery, beekeeping, ornamental plants, and shading, and small scale staple food production.
“School gardens are gaining prominence in all parts of the world according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. It promotes a good diet, nutrition education, and the development of livelihood skills.
“It extends learning beyond the school itself, and the educational focus can be an important long-term contributor to national health and food security. When I say national health, we look at the pupil becoming a healthy eater and therefore do not get various diseases due to their healthy way of living.
“In the case of food security, a pupil may decide to pursue a career in agriculture that would allow them to develop their own business producing home-grown fruits and vegetables thereby contributing to our national food security and being less dependent on the outside for our food.
“I commend the school board, management and the teachers for taking this initiative. The pupils were very enthusiastic and happy with what they have achieved so far. What I have witnessed at the Seventh Day Adventist School is a see planted and grounded for the nation’s future in good nutrition and better healthy lifestyles of our people,” Minister Hon. Claret Connor said on Sunday.
The Seventh Day Adventist School garden was also developed with the assistance of various volunteers and from donations provided by businesses in the community. Minister Connor thanks all those who have assisted and encourages them to continue to this form of community development as it will leave a mark on the young minds that it touches.
PHOTO CUTLINE: Minister of TEATT Hon. Claret Connor (6th from left) standing with pupils and teachers after visiting their school garden. DCOMM Photo