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Michelle Andrews' Fundraiser:

West Avenue School Garden Initiative

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Michelle Andrews

THE STORY:

West Avenue School is a low-income school in one of the poorest counties in New Jersey. Cumberland County ranked last in the annual “Kids Count” report, which measures the state’s 21 counties in 13 categories, including poverty, health, safety and education. We hope that by introducing a garden initiative at our school, that we can promote interest in education in a variety of disciplines, including science, math, health and nutrition.
“As children and families continue to struggle, it is more important than ever to make sound decisions to improve children’s lives and invest in the future of our state,” ACNJ executive director Cecilia Zalkind said. “The Kids Count data should be used to inform our response to children’s needs and guide investments of our limited state resources.”
Since most of our children are eligible for free or reduced school breakfasts and lunches, we hope that we can begin to grow healthy alternatives to junk food to give the children the education they need to make better decisions when it comes to fueling their bodies.
We hope to start with approximately 20 raised beds to grow fruits and vegetables as well as flowers that can be used for community efforts or fundraising for future items needed for the garden.
In time, we hope this garden will be a beneficial and self-sustaining part of the curriculum at West Avenue.

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