The New England Center for Children has received a $5,349 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Healthy Living grant to fund NECC’s organic garden project called the “edible schoolyard.” The grant funds assisted in construction of raised garden beds; procurement of equipment and materials including soil, seeds, storage kits, food dehydrators, gathering baskets, and a composter; and provided support for coursework relating to nutrition, science, and farming.
The edible schoolyard will serve as part of the vocational training curriculum to support educational initiatives. Students will work on skills such as learning where food comes from, the effects of food on personal health, time management, and following a schedule to complete a job.
The garden is housed in the courtyard space in the John and Diane Kim Autism Institute and will be maintained through a collaboration between the vocational services department, academic specialists, teachers, kitchen staff, and maintenance. The Green Committee, who kicked off the garden project by providing plants for one garden bed, will fund ongoing expenses.