Taking the Classroom Home: Ana and Renan’s Story
Throughout Brazil, schools are teaching students about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and maintaining proper hygiene. With the help of INMED’s Health in Action program, many of these schools are planting gardens. These gardens serve as an outside classroom that show students the nutritional advantages of the the vegetables they are growing. Additionally, the fresh produce that the gardens produce is incorporated into the school’s daily meals.
The Health in Action program also served to make the school greener. “There wasn’t a single plant in the whole school,” an administrator said. “The vegetable garden gave a higher return, because planting a seed, caring for it, harvesting and then seeing that it can become part of your food is an ongoing process of daily discovery for the students.”
During class, students are taught how to maintain good health through both their diet and their lifestyle. Several children, including student Ana Julia, have begun creating home gardens that not only benefit themselves, but their entire family.
“The vegetable garden gave a higher return, because planting a seed, caring for it, harvesting and then seeing that it can become part of your food is an ongoing process of daily discovery…”
“I’m making a small garden at home with my mother,” Ana said, “and I even brought mint seedlings to the school garden. I asked my school’s garden keeper for three tomato seedlings to plant in my home garden, and now I’m waiting for them to grow. Now I’m eating more vegetables and can’t wait to harvest the tomatoes.”
Renan, another student, has also seen positive changes after growing his own food at home. The garden has not only piqued his curiosity, but has also made him more open minded about the foods he eats.
“At my house, I’ve planted chayote,” he said. “Before that I didn’t like it, but when we started our home garden, I decided to try it and I liked it. Now I always eat it because chayote grows a lot.”
As students continue to learn about the benefits of forming healthy eating habits, they grow more and more enthusiastic about gardening vegetables. Because of INMED’s Health in Action program, they are able to bring this passion home, where it spreads among their families, and ultimately to the surrounding community.
Watch a video about INMED’s Health in Action program: