Sprout Scouts: Elementary students learn food growing skills

July 17, 2018

A group of elementary students in Raleigh are learning how to grow their own healthy food through an after-school gardening program called Sprout Scouts.

Sprout Scouts is a partnership between the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, corporate donors and the Wake County School system, and young kids at Bugg Magnet Elementary School in Raleigh are some of the first to participate.

“The partnership with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle has made a huge difference for our kids this year,” said Rebecca Foote, the principal of Bugg Elementary. “The kids are really engaged in the garden. They love being out there planting the seeds, watering the garden and really thinking about where their food comes from.”

“I like how we harvest different types of food and then we get to eat foods like squash and make fruit salad and tacos and things like that,” said Alivia Polite, one of the Sprout Scouts.

“It’s important for kids to be involved with the school garden so they know where their food comes from,” added Katie Murray from the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. “They know how to eat healthy and they can start learning how to garden at home.”

Parents like Kimberly Brown are also big fans of the Sprout Scout program.

“When Alivia comes home from school, she is so excited to get out and play in the dirt,” said Brown. “She has learned so much about growing fruit and vegetables and she’s just so excited about the program.”

Along with Sprout Scouts, BackPack Buddies provides about 50 fully-loaded backpacks every Friday to kids who don’t have enough food to get them through the weekend. The school pantry is also a big success, providing parents groceries to take home and prepare meals.

All of these programs help feed families and help kids get the message about good nutrition.

“We get to learn about new things, so when you go to science class and learn about plants, then you already know those things and can tell other kids about it,” said Polite.

“Now Alivia is asking more questions about what she eats, where does our food come from and how it’s grown,” said Brown. “She’s is definitely more interested in the things she’s eating!”