This month, Taco Time Northwest officially opened its first schoolyard garden to get involved with the community. Taco Time NW partnered with Newport Heights Elementary (NHE) in Bellevue, Washington, to offer students hands-on, experiential learning opportunities in a number of disciplines including the natural and social sciences, math, writing, and nutrition.
Taco Time NW sponsored the NHE garden by providing the garden beds, seeds, and a gardening expert to teach the students how to maintain the beds and plants. Also, Taco Time health coach Deborah Enos will visit with the kids and discuss the importance of nutrition.
The addition of Taco Time NW’s schoolyard garden allowed NHE to establish its new Garden Club, consisting of 19 students who meet weekly to work with the garden and participate in specialized lesson plans.
Furthermore, curriculum will be developed each year for the first- through fifth-grade classrooms to teach students various lessons including the life cycle of fruits and vegetables, the benefit of insects, the importance of climate on plant growth, and cooking with fresh and local produce.
“It was so great to see how excited the Garden Club students were to be able to put their hands in the soil for the first time,” says Gretchen Everett, marketing and advertising director of Taco Time NW. “The Newport Heights Elementary schoolyard garden is a pilot program that we hope to roll out in additional Puget Sound area schools to continue to teach the importance of practical learning and healthier eating.”