Houston far exceeds the national average on issues related to food insecurity and obesity.
While 7.4% of Americans live in food deserts, an astonishing 20% of Houstonians live in food deserts, communities that lack access to healthy fruits and vegetables (USDA); 15% of Americans and 21% of children nationwide are food insecure (Feeding America), whereas 19% of Houstonians and 25% of Houston's children do not know where they will find their next meal (Houston Food Bank); finally, a staggering 1-in-2 children in low-income communities here are obese (Healthy Living Matters).
Urban Harvest's Youth Education Program is growing a solution.
Our Youth Education Program is in high-demand, because it is changing the way inner-city youth think about their education, environment and food. Numerous studies show that children will try new foods, eat healthier and are more active when in school garden programs. We teach children through hands-on, experiential learning how to grow, harvest and prepare healthy meals and snacks for themselves and their families. With gardens, children experience many of the same lessons they learn in the classroom.
The rise in interest in school gardens over the past several years underscores the need for professional development for teachers, so that all schools that desire a garden have access to and are equipped to teach in one.
The Edible Academy: A Teaching Workshop takes that solution to the next level.
In 2016, Urban Harvest launched The Edible Academy: A Teaching Workshop held at Gregory Lincoln Education Center in the fourth ward. Through the Edible Academy, we will teach teachers how to integrate their school garden into all aspects of school life through culinary arts and curriculum support for core subjects like math, science and language arts.
The Academy will build upon our professional development class series, Teaching in the Outdoor Classroom, to offer a three-day workshop in 2017, and eventually week-long Academy. This Academy would enable us to build our capacity by reaching more teachers, schools and therefore students and will be a unique source for professional development in edible education in our region.
"This is a way for the kids to become in touch with where their food is coming from and actually be able to grow, harvest, eat and cook it. They learn all of that, but more importantly it's about teaching them how to take ownership of their own health.
— Kellie Karavias, Garden Educator
Gregory Lincoln Education Center
Volunteer times for the Urban Harvest Teaching Garden:
When: September–May 2017
Every Tuesday, 8–10am
"Dig It Day"Saturdays, 9:30–11:30am
Dec. 10, (January holiday), Feb. 11, March 4, April 8, May 13
This is a great volunteer activity for parents and their school-age children, teens looking for community service hours & neighbors who want to improve their "hands on" gardening skill!. Activities include cultivating, planting & harvesting. Individual volunteers are welcome to show up during hours listed. Gregory-Lincoln Education Center, 1101 Taft St.
To volunteer with groups of five or more, please email us or call 713.880.5540.