The UA Community and School Garden Program helped celebrate Manzo Elementary's designation as the first school in Pima County to obtain Arizona Department of Health Services certification to serve school-grown produce as part of the lunch menu.
Speakers at the Nov. 20 event included Jonathan Rothschild, mayor of Tucson; John Paul Jones III, dean of the University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; Dr. Francisco Garcia, chief medical officer for the Pima County Department of Health; Michael McDonald, CEO of Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona; and Kyesha Villa, a Manzo Elementary student.
The Community and School Garden Program is housed in the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences’ School of Geography and Development. Since its inception in 2010, hundreds of UA student interns have helped K-12 teachers develop lesson plans related to building and maintaining school gardens.
In the garden, children explore subjects such as ecology, soil science, conservation, art and photography through hands-on learning projects. The projects also provide an opportunity for UA students to put concepts learned in the classroom into practice.
Over the past five years, the program has worked with seven community gardens and 12 school gardens, including Manzo's. You can learn more about the program here: http://web.sbs.arizona.edu/college/news/student-engagement-through-ua-community-and-school-garden-program.
Moses Thompson, who created and runs the ecology program at Manzo, recently was named coordinator of the UA-TUSD Community and School Garden Program. The position is a cooperative effort and joint appointment between the Tucson Unified School District and the UA, involving the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Science and the Graduate College.
Photos courtesy of Moses Thompson