SOURCE: Welch's

Welch's

April 19, 2011 07:00 ET

100 Schools Nationwide Receive Welch's Harvest Grants to Grow Their Own Fruits and Vegetables at School

CONCORD, MA--(Marketwire - Apr 19, 2011) - As part of its second annual Harvest Grants program, Welch's today announced the 100 elementary schools nationwide who will receive gardening grants. The program, a collaboration of Welch's®, ScholasticParent & Child® magazine and the National Gardening Association, provides children the opportunity to learn the importance of incorporating fruits and vegetables into their diet and gain a heightened awareness of what they eat and where it comes from by planting, tending, and eventually harvesting their own fruits and vegetables at school.

"Of the schools that participated in last year's program and incorporated gardening into their school's curriculum, an amazing 17% reported an improvement in test scores," notes Mike Metallo, president of National Gardening Association. "But Welch's Harvest Grants is not just a classroom-based program. It provides an opportunity for families to incorporate healthy eating into their daily lives year round, and we believe that this program is already having a positive impact on the eating behaviors of families across America."

"As a family-farmer owned company, family health is at our roots. For that reason, Welch's has long been an active proponent of nutrition education and discovery, investing in over a decade's worth of research on the emerging heart health benefits of Concord grape juice," said Matt Wohl, chief marketing officer for the company. "We're proud to support the Welch's Harvest Grant Program as this is a great example of an educational initiative that stresses the importance of healthy eating for the whole family."

"Having a garden is a welcome extension to our classroom!" said Rachel Cisneros, teacher and garden coordinator for Sonoma Charter School in El Verano, California, one of the five top winning schools receiving $1,000 Harvest Grants. "Students who have first-hand experience with fresh fruits and vegetables gain a sense of pride and are motivated to sample and eat new foods. Having the opportunity to eat fresh produce from the garden helps students make better food choices and promotes healthy lifestyles. Older students study the nutritional value of crops while younger students taste-test a variety of produce and compare and contrast to supermarket fruits and vegetables."

To date, 200 schools have been recognized as Welch's Harvest Grants award winners. Since the program's inception in 2009, more than 21,000 schools reaching an estimated 630,000 families have been touched by the Harvest Grants program messages. The top-five winning schools receiving $1,000 Harvest Grants in 2011 include:

  • Doris Henderson Newcomers School, Greensboro, NC
  • Sonoma Charter School, Sonoma, CA
  • PS 107, Brooklyn, NY
  • Goldsboro Elementary School, Sanford, FL
  • Louise A. Conley Elementary School, Whitman, MA

"This program brings learning to life for children in the classroom and out in the backyard," said Jeff Wellington, VP/ publisher of ScholasticParent & Child magazine. "Bringing together the power of Scholastic's educational resources, harnessing Welch's leadership in nutrition and tapping into National Gardening Association's resources, we've seen exceptional grant entries and gardens cultivated from schools across the country."

For complete details, go to www.scholastic.com/harvest.

For more information on Welch's, visit www.welchs.com. For more information on the science behind the Concord grape's health benefits, visit the Grape Science Center at www.grapescience.com.

About Welch's
Headquartered in Concord, Massachusetts, Welch's is the processing and marketing subsidiary of the National Grape Cooperative. Welch's is owned by 1,150 family-farmers across America and in Ontario, Canada, who make up this cooperative and who grow the delicious and inherently healthy Concord grape, used in Welch's juices and other grape-based products. Welch's is committed to research and development that will meet the growing demand for products that address consumers' health and nutrition needs. Welch's products are sold throughout the United States and in approximately 50 countries around the globe. For more information on Welch's, visit welchs.com and grapescience.com.

About Scholastic Parent & Child®
Scholastic Parent & Child is one of today's leading parenting magazines, reaching more than 7.5 million parents. Parent & Child was created for families with children ages birth to 12, and one hundred percent of the editorial content is dedicated to informing parents on topics that serve the entire family, including child development, well being, health, activities, travel, fashion, and food. To visit the magazine's online site, log on to www.scholastic.com/parents. To learn more about Scholastic, visit our online media room mediaroom.scholastic.com.

About the National Gardening Association
The National Gardening Association (NGA) founded in 1973, is a national nonprofit leader in plant-based education, respected for its award-winning websites and newsletters, grants and curricula for youth gardens, and research for the lawn and garden industry. NGA's mission is to advance the personal, community, and educational benefits of gardening by supporting gardeners and teachers with information and resources. To learn more, please visit www.garden.org and www.kidsgardening.org.

Contact Information