When students at Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona, and Collier Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, say they’re “going grocery shopping,” they’ll soon only need a couple of minutes; they won’t have to go any further than the new outdoor learning garden at their school. That’s because these two elementary schools won a Captain Planet Foundation Learning Garden from Bashas’, Food City and Dole Packaged Foods.
The schools were nominated this summer and selected this fall to win the first-ever contest, which awards two Arizona schools with a comprehensive Captain Planet Foundation Learning Garden. Each garden, valued at $2,500, comes complete with lesson kits, supplies to establish a schoolyard garden, a fully equipped garden cooking cart and strategies for garden maintenance.
“We’re looking forward to the garden installation and program implementation at these elementary schools,” said Ashley Shick, director of communications and public affairs for Bashas’ and Food City supermarkets. “This is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn more about where their food comes from.”
The Learning Garden program provides a context for multidisciplinary learning, ranging from nutrition and science to social studies, math and language arts. Students benefit by expanding their palates, taste-testing healthy foods and learning about food origins.
Installation of both Learning Gardens is expected to take place next spring.
“The kids will really enjoy planting their gardens and seeing what wonderful items they will be able to grow and harvest,” said Larry White, VP of sales for Dole Packaged Foods.
Bashas’ Family of Stores—the family-owned grocer that operates Food City, AJ’s Fine Foods, Eddie’s Country Store and both Bashas’ and Bashas’ Dine supermarkets—is an Arizona-based company founded by brothers Ike and Eddie Bashas Sr. With more than 100 grocery stores, it is one of the largest employers in the state. Since the company’s inception in 1932, Bashas’ has given back more than $100 million to the communities it serves.
Created in 1991 based on the animated series “Captain Planet and the Planeteers,” the Captain Planet Foundation is a grant-making foundation that has funded more than 2,000 hands-on environmental education projects with schools and nonprofits that serve children in all of the 50 U.S. states and in 23 countries.