The New Jersey Agricultural Society recently announced that Varsha Gireesh, a student at Jersey City Public School #17, won the statewide grand prize for first grade in the annual Farm-City Week Poster Contest.
This year’s theme for the poster contest was “Eat A Rainbow.” The students were asked to show why it is important to “eat a rainbow” of different-colored fruits and vegetables for their different vitamins and nutrients. They were also asked to show how they could “eat a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables in one week.
Students in kindergarten through third grade from 15 New Jersey schools participated in the poster contest. The New Jersey Agricultural Society chose one contest winner from each school at each grade level. Then from those winners, a statewide grand prize winner was chosen for each grade level.
The annual poster contest is part of the New Jersey Agricultural Society’s Learning Through Gardening program, which provides materials to schools to build vegetable gardens that are used as outdoor classrooms. The program also provides training and curriculum to teachers to assist them in including garden activities in their everyday lessons in all subjects. School gardens show students where their food comes from, how plants grow, and encourage students to eat healthy food. The Learning Through Gardening Program currently supports gardening in 25 schools throughout New Jersey in its three-year program. Since its inception in 2012, The Learning Through Gardening Program has started gardens in 68 New Jersey schools.
The Learning Through Gardening program is one of three New Jersey Agricultural Society programs. The others are Farmers Against Hunger and the Agricultural Leadership Development Program. Farmers Against Hunger is a program dedicated to collecting fresh fruits and vegetables from farms, wholesalers, and food distributors across the state and distributing that food to people in need. The Agricultural Leadership Development program is an educational program for individuals involved in farming and agribusiness to help them become informed, articulate leaders.