June 28, 2022
“Sprouting at Schools” (SpAS) is an in-person curriculum for 4th-6th graders about nutrition and gardening, created through the Marilyn Magaram Center (MMC) at California State University, Northridge collaboration with MMC/BuildPoder Research Assistant Alondra Valdez. This program is Kaiser Permanente-funded under MMC’s “Let’s Cook, Move, and Grow/Let’s Grow Healthy” programs. All 5th grade classes (~ 90 students) at Calahan Community Charter in Northridge, CA, participated in SpAS during Spring 2022. Topics covered included: 1) Nutrition & Gardening, 2) Sustainability & Goal setting, 3) Nutrients We Need & MyPlate, and 4) Math & Food Labels.
In addition, 5th graders participated in a fun gardening project called the “Bean Project.” This experimental activity focused on sprouting beans in plastic bags and transporting them to soil, which taught students how to best grow and nurture living plants. Following the final lesson, students and teachers received a variety of produce and herb seedlings to grow at home over the summer break. Overall, students loved learning about how to eat healthy, how take care of a garden, and how to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The MMC looks forward to continued partnership with Calahan Community Charter in Fall 2022.
Student Success Highlight: Congratulations to Alondra Valdez, CSUN Dietetic Intern Estefania Ramos, and CSUN Dietetic Intern Ana Garcia (DI) on receiving 1st place award (poster group 11) in the Virtual 2022 CSUNPosium for their Sprouting at Home/ at School (SpAH/SpAS) research poster titled, “The Effectiveness of a Nutrition and Gardening Curriculum in Creating Healthier Habits in Elementary School Students”. The MMC celebrates their accomplishments and contributions to the MMC Research Lab.