Savannah elementary schools partner with local organizations for student cookbook contest

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Center Parc Credit Union and Savannah Urban Garden Alliance (SUGA) have partnered with six elementary schools to create a recipe cookbook. 

The cookbook will document their first vegetable garden, all while working to combat childhood obesity. 

The program kicked off at noon on Wednesday at Butler Elementary. 

“I’m just privileged and honored that Butler was one of the schools selected as the six schools and also Butler is the launching pad for Parc Center,” said Dr. Latila Slay, interim principal at Butler Elementary School. “Our students and staff are very excited and we are going to do a great job.”

Approximately 500 students between each school will participate in a recipe writing contest. Fifteen students will be selected to have their recipes published along with their artwork. 

The goal of Center Parc and Suga’s partnership is to offer healthy habits to Chatham County youth and provide students with the opportunity to create a record of their own vegetable gardening experience through the cookbook. 

“I really think it builds responsibility for them and they just feel accomplished that they get to see I put all this work in for something and now it’s coming from it,” Butler Elementary School Teacher Megan Breese said. 

SUGA partners with schools, farmers, local businesses and more to help increase access and knowledge of urban gardening.

“Community gardening does actually increase and enhance mobility and physical activity,” Community Development Liason for Center Parc Credit Union Donna Williams said. “It helps the kids and the youth understand that fresh fruit and vegetables are good to eat and this recipe booklet ties it in with them not only growing the food but understanding how to prepare it.”

Williams said she hopes the cookbook recipe will become an annual contest.

“I work with students at different schools around Savannah, lead them through activities in the garden and try to support what the teachers want to do in the garden,” School Garden Educator Nicole Funk said.  

While tying in what students are doing in the classroom, to hands-on activities they can do outside, Funk’s job is to support each school and their vision for the garden. 

“Many scientific studies have shown that school gardens can combat childhood obesity by increasing fruit and vegetable intake,” Williams added.

The participating schools include:

  • J.H.C. Butler Elementary
  • Windsor Forest Elementary
  • Heard Elementary
  • Carrie E. Gould Elementary
  • Otis J. Brock Elementary
  • Sarah Mills Hodge Elementary 

The recipe book will be available at the participating schools before the holiday break. 

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