Communities In Schools FirstSchool Gardens Announces bLessons from the School Yardb Workshops for Adult

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February 12, 2010-Pinehurst, NCb Communities In Schools (CIS) FirstSchool Gardens will be hosting a complimentary workshop series for adults called bLessons from the Schoolyardb.

bFollowing three years of success teaching children in school gardens throughout Moore County, we created these free workshops specifically for adults who would like to learn more about vegetable and fruit gardening and healthy eating,b said Kathy Byron, CIS FirstSchool Garden Program Director, b We have had so many requests from parents who were excited about B what their children were learning in our school-based programs and they B wanted to learn more themselves so they could create their own gardens at home.b

The first in the series will take place February 18, 2010 and will focus on bHow PTA/PTOsB and Parents can influence the Health and Academic Success of Students through School Gardensb.B This workshop will be held at the Moore County Cooperative Extension office in Carthage from 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.B The workshop will be presented by Wake-Medbs Advocates for Health in Action, and will include an overview of the CIS FirstSchool Garden program, as well.

Six shorter workshops in the series will be hosted at CIS FirstSchool Gardens throughout Moore County.

The week of March 1, 2010, a workshop entitled bThe Ground Rules of Vegetable Gardeningb will cover key information on how to grow vegetables successfully in the Sandhills, including the use of raised beds, soil amendments, what and when to plant and much more.

This workshop will take place Monday March 1 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at Academy Heights Elementary School; Tuesday March 2 from 1:30-2:30 p.m.at Southern Pines Elementary School; Wednesday March 3 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at Vass Lakeview Elementary School; Thursday March 4 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at Pinehurst Elementary School and Friday March 5 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at Aberdeen Elementary School.

bBecause of extreme heat and sandy soil, vegetable gardening in the Sandhills can be scary for many people, and yet they see how bountiful the school gardens are,b explained Bruce Fensley, the Master Gardener who will be leading this workshop,b With some basic planning, knowledge and even just a small amount of space, a home vegetable garden can be just a productive as our school gardens.b

The third workshop in the series will explore what it takes to maintain an organic vegetable garden.B This workshop will take place Tuesday March 16 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. at the Aberdeen Recreation Center on US 1 and will be presented by Taylor Williams, Moore County Agricultural Agent.

bAll of the CIS FirstSchool gardens are managed without the use of chemicals and are absolutely prolific.B Many people find it hard to believe that this can be done easily and effectively, and as a result, they turn to expensive chemical solutions,b says Byron,b In this workshop we want to share how we accomplish this amazing growth in the school gardens using strictly organic approaches.B It is not that hard or expensive.b

If cooking with vegetables is more your interest, then the Fourth workshop in the series may be a perfect fit for you.B Melissa Watford from FirstHealth Community Health Services will be giving an introduction to the nationally recognized cooking program bThe Happy Kitchen/La Concina Alegrab on Tuesday March 30 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at Southern Pines Elementary; Wednesday March 31 from 9:00-10:00 a.m. at Vass Lakeview and on Thursday April 1 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at Aberdeen Elementary School.

Watford will also create a healthy soda using a recipe that can be duplicated at home.

bA happy kitchen can be a healthy kitchen.b Byron pointed out,b Cooking healthy foods sounds like it would be expensive and not a fun as eating out, but we find that the students in our school garden programs gobble up the healthy vegetables that we cook in their classrooms.B This is something that is easy to do in your own home and fun to do with your children.b

Two more workshops with a cooking focus will be held in April of this year and are perfectly timed with our Sandhills planting season.

bWe will run a workshop the week of April 12 covering Cooking with Seasonal Garden vegetables and fruits, followed by a workshop the week of April 26 focusing on Healthy Cooking with Kids.b said Byron, bYou will want to save the dates for these classes and bring a good appetite since we will be tasting some of our most popular recipes from the school gardens.b

For more information on these workshops or on the CIS FirstSchool Gardens you can call 910-295-1072 or visit the CIS website at www.moorebuddiesmentoring.com.

Communities In Schools (CIS) serves 2500 Moore County students though its programs focusing on helping kids stay in school and prepare for life.B Now in its third year, the CIS FirstSchool Gardens provide a foundation for healthy eating and lifestyles at Moore County Schools, including Aberdeen Elementary School, Academy Heights Elementary School, Southern Pine Elementary School, Pinecrest High School, Pinehurst Elementary School, Aberdeen Primary School and Vass Lakeview Elementary School.