CLARK, NJ - Kids and dirt seem to go together.  At Valley Road School  some second graders are spending very productive time in the dirt after receiving $500 from a Kids Dig In Grant funded through the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders,  2018 Moving Union County Forward - Union County Plant A Seed Initiative.

According to school officials the grant is made possible through the Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.   The grant will be used to purchase various garden supplies including garden hand tools, vegetable plants, weed guard and various other garden necessities.  The Valley Road Garden was started last year by  teacher Sharon Pinto and the Girl Scouts.

This year, second grade teacher Cecilia Petela applied for the grant so the garden could be made even larger. “We are extremely excited to expand our second grade garden at Valley Road School. Thank you to the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders for providing our school with new tools and materials to improve and expand our garden. The garden provides our school with countless learning opportunities,” said Petela.  

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According to a letter from Sergio Granados, Chairman of Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the “Kids Dig In” grant is designed to “assist in teaching our children how sustainable food is grown. When children are introduced to gardening in the schools, it helps them begin to think holistically about their food, their schools, their larger communities, and the health of our planet.”   

The grant was first offered to Union County schools last year and has helped create 31 gardens.  The program is open to pre-K through 12th grade schools throughout Union County.

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