GGS inspires communities to create a culture of wellness by connecting food, health and the environment. We reach students in the classroom by empowering teachers and school staff to change the attitudes toward food in our schools and providing access to innovative curriculum developed by experts in the field. In the lunchroom GGS works closely with Nutrition Services and our partner chefs through the Chefs Move to Schools program. On the playground GGS supports developing before and after school fitness programs and active recess opportunities and community based programs to raise funds for PE programs. Our current initiatives include the following:
- Ensuring that each school gets a salad bar and is able to offer fresh, healthy choices on at least a weekly basis to all students and staff.
- Promoting healthy eating and nutrition tip through our ground breaking getCOOKing classes.
- Coordinating Fall and Spring student-run farmers’ markets, in an effort to expose students and their families to healthy, locally-grown produce.
- Supporting the efforts of the schools and community centers to develop school gardens that are maintained by students.
- Promoting physical health and fitness in schools and communities by implementing physical literacy using BrainErgizersTM and P.L.U.S.S programming - before, during and after-school fitness programs and active recess opportunities.
- Offering a junior master gardener curriculum in conjunction with UCONN to provide a turn-key solution for teachers who are interested in incorporating lessons from a school garden into their own curriculum.
- Serving as an advocacy group and central resource for parents, educators and community members to implement our mission.
- Supporting the efforts of Nutrition Services by offering the Chefs Move to Schools program. One of Growing Great School’s most important alliances is the relationship it has developed with local chefs. Each public elementary school is paired with a local chef. The chefs have developed a variety of healthy menu options, which are introduced to students through taste testing events.