Jonesboro school receives state recognition for garden education - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro school receives state recognition for garden education

(Source: Arkansas Agriculture Twitter Account) (Source: Arkansas Agriculture Twitter Account)
(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
(Source: Melinda Smith) (Source: Melinda Smith)

A Jonesboro school's garden of fresh produce received high honors in Little Rock.

The Health, Wellness, and Environmental Studies Magnet School received the Best Nutrition Education Based School Garden award Wednesday.

Anna Lesli, fifth grader at HWES, traveled to the capitol with her teachers to receive the honor.

She said throughout the year they use the garden to learn all about nutrition.

“We’ve learned how to garden correctly and how to bring it in and clean it and stuff to make food out of it, and throughout the year we got and get the weeds out and cut fruits and vegetables to bring it in to cook,” Lesli said.

Lesli said she’s learned valuable skills that have carried into her home kitchen.

“It's good to know how to garden and get fresh food and vegetables to make fresh foods,” Lesli said. “We garden at our house now, and we try to make our foods from the garden too.”

Melinda Smith oversees the garden and was also at the capitol for the presentation.

She said she feels they received the award based on nutrition because of their partnership with Arkansas State University.

Dietetic students come to HWES each semester to teach students about nutrition from the seeds to the preparation in the kitchen.

Smith said HWES also partners with Craighead County Master Gardeners to allow for each student to get hands-on experience with a professional gardener.

Every grade at HWES gets to take advantage of the garden.

Along with the recognition by the state, Farm Credit of Arkansas donated $500 to HWES.

Smith said the money will be used to upkeep the school garden.

They will begin preparation in January to grow fresh produce for their annual plant sale in the spring.

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