Plant and Grow with Pomona Early Head Start

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Elizabeth Landin and Retha Medley are lead teachers for Pomona Early Head Start programs. In 2016, they enrolled in the National Early Care and Education Learning Collaborative (ECELC) program and learned the benefits of gardening. They immediately wanted to incorporate gardening into their program so the kids could learn where and how food is grown. Because the program did not have resources to build an outdoor garden, they started small indoor container gardens for their infant and toddler classrooms. Elizabeth and Retha were able to tie in nutrition and gardening into other subjects, such as science and math, and the kids love it. After witnessing the success of Elizabeth and Retha’s project, gardening beds for Pomona Early Head Start have been included in next year’s budget.

In addition to gardening, the site worked on engaging parents and sharing resources through a Parent Nutrition Board—highlighting nutrition education, healthy recipes, and fun physical activities to do at home. The Parent Nutrition Board also encourages breastfeeding and uses resources promoted through the ECELC program to engage with parents.

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