Connecticut Department of Agriculture Celebrates Connecticut Grown for Connecticut Kids Week
Officials Visit Environmental Science Magnet School in Hartford to Engage with Students
(HARTFORD) The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg), along with partners from the CT Farm to School Collaborative, Food Corps, and State Department of Education,visited Environmental Science Magnet School in Hartford today to celebrate Connecticut Grown for Connecticut Kids Week happening statewide through October 7.
“Our Connecticut Grown for Connecticut Kids Grant program had a tremendous response and ultimately 14 projects were funded earlier this year,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “It is great to see these coordinated activities come to fruition and actively engage students through hands-on educational learning opportunities about where their food comes from. Our deep thanks to the awardees for their initiative to undertake these projects and make that connection for the students.”
The school hosted a program made possible by the CT Grown for CT Kids state grant program launched in 2021 with funding made available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Projects were to develop and enhance farm-to-school programs that will increase the availability of local foods in nutrition programs, allow educators to use hands-on educational techniques to teach students about nutrition and farm-to-school connections, sustain relationships with local farmers, improve the health of children in the state, and enhance the state's economy.
Today’s event showcased the work funded through grant recipient Lauren Little Edutainment, which included renovating the existing garden and working with school staff to develop classroom curriculum and outdoor lessons on food, nature, and farming with field trips to Keney Park Sustainability Project and the Free Center in Hartford.
Stations modeled after a farmers’ market setting allowed students to learn about record keeping, seed saving, and a taste of local, taking home a bag of CT Grown products to share with their families. All of this is a concerted effort to connect students with the land and an understanding of where their food comes from. Today’s event was one of many happening statewide throughout the week.
Joey Listro of New Britain ROOTS and Dawn Crayco of Food Corps are both members of the CT Farm to School Collaborative and shared, “The CT Farm to School Collaborative is excited to see so many schools, farms, and community organizations celebrate CT Grown for CT Kids Week with events and activities that highlight the progress we've made since the state statute went into effect in 2006. It has never been more important to showcase this important week, especially as we begin to see the impact of the inaugural CT Grown for CT Kids Grants Program. We have so much to be proud of - more schools are actively engaged in gardening, more cafeterias are featuring local produce, and our students are more connected with their local farms than ever before."
To learn more about other activities and CT Grown for CT Kids grantees, visit www.ctfarmtoschool.org. The next round of grant funding is currently open with an application deadline of November 15, 2022. Visit ctgrown.gov/grants for grant guidance and application information.
Established under P.A. 21-0002,S. 364, Connecticut Grown for Connecticut Kids Grant (CTG4CTK Grant) is administered by Department of Agriculture through a combination of financial and technical assistance to help develop farm-to-school programs that will increase the availability of local foods in child nutrition programs, allow educators to use hands-on educational techniques to teach students about nutrition and farm-to-school connections, sustain relationships with local farmers and producers, enrich the educational experience of students, improve the health of children in the state and enhance the state’s economy.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture mission is to foster a healthy economic, environmental, and social climate for agriculture by developing, promoting, and regulating agricultural businesses; protecting agricultural and aquacultural resources; enforcing laws pertaining to domestic animals; and promoting an understanding among the state's citizens of the diversity of Connecticut agriculture, its cultural heritage, and its contribution to the state's economy. For more information, visit www.CTGrown.gov.
For Immediate Release:Thursday, October 6, 2022
Contact: Rebecca Eddy, 860-573-0323, Rebecca.Eddy@ct.gov