Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG) was selected to receive a $55,000 grant from St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital (SJPVH) and St. John’s Regional Medical Center (SJRMC), members of Dignity Health.
The grant funds will go towards expanding SEEAG’s “Ventura County Child Wellness Initiative.” The program educates and inspires children to eat healthy by adding locally grown Ventura County specialty crops to their diet. SEEAG brings its mobile classroom van to schools where SEEAG instructors provide hands-on nutrition education to third graders. Over 2,800 students will take part in the program during the 2020 calendar year.
Each participating student receives a Wellness Swag Bag containing educational materials, produce samples, recipes and a dental hygiene kit. The grant will enable SEEAG to add a bilingual educator to the program, create five farmers market pop-ups within the targeted school districts that will provide free produce and nutritional information for families and include a jump rope in each of the Wellness Swag Bags.
“Many farmworkers’ children are enrolled in the targeted school districts. They are an important population to reach with our message,” says Mary Maranville, CEO/founder of SEEAG. “SEEAG is grateful for Dignity Health’s support of the Child Wellness Initiative, The grant is recognition that our efforts to educate children about eating healthy if very much needed in Ventura County.”
Other organizations teaming up with SEEAG to make the Ventura County Child Wellness Initiative successful are Reiter Affiliated Companies’ Sambrando Salud Program, Clinicas del Camino Real and Ventura County Public Health.
Fun, kid-friendly gardening activities from Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG) are now available for children who are at home due to COVID-19 school closures. SEEAG, a local leader in agriculture education, conducts learning programs in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties at schools and farms where it teaches students how food is grown, healthy eating habits and proper nutrition. The program is called “Let’s Grow A Garden!”
Program lessons are now online and new lessons will be posted every Monday through summer. Topics include how to plant an outdoor vegetable garden or indoor container garden, how to select the right plants and soil, information about local agriculture and links to where families can order seeds and gardening materials online.
Co-sponsoring Let’s Grow A Garden! is Agromin. Agromin is giving away 500, 20-quart bags of potting soil (one per child), Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Follow all social distancing rules posted on site.
The program will also feature a weekly garden photo contest where students submit photos (#letsgrowagarden2020) showing the progress of their gardens with the chance to win garden-themed prizes.