Ethel A. Jacobsen Elementary School Receives $1,500 Garden Grant

Jan 17, 2018

Ethel A. Jacobsen Elementary School teacher Anne Einselen has received a grant to introduce the students to the process of growing hydroponic micro-greens. The funding comes via AtlantiCare’s Healthy Schools, Healthy Children program, a partnership with local schools that assists in implementation of fitness, nutrition and wellness programing.

Five New Jersey schools, including E.J., in Surf City, received New Edible School Garden/Alternative Garden Awards of $1,500 each. The grants were presented to schools demonstrating innovative initiatives aimed at encouraging physical activity and healthful eating habits among students, their families and school staff.

Overall, schools in Atlantic, Cape May and Southern Ocean counties earned $51,000 in total grant funding to support school gardens and wellness activities.

“Mrs. Einselen is a resource room teacher utilizing an in-class support model,” said Bianca Aniski, the E.J. school nurse and garden guru. “In-class support is a model that allows students with varying degrees of difficulty to become successful in the mainstream classroom across the curriculum. This tier of support is designed to assist students, while allowing them to learn in a whole class setting.

“Anne, as a seasoned inclusion teacher and home gardener, is very motivated and enthusiastic about introducing our young farmers to the ins and outs of extending the E.J. garden’s growing season with this grant.”

The hydroponic system will also allow students to start spring transplants, Aniski added.

“We’re excited to continue supporting school gardening programs by awarding these mini-grants,” said Laura Engelmann, AtlantiCare community health and wellness manager. “We thank the principals, educators, staff and students at all the schools for embracing wellness activities that support their academic requirements.”

To learn more about the E.J. School garden, visit digginginthedirt.org. —J.K.-H.

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