INSPIRED IMPACT is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to purpose-driven organizations and passionate leaders and entrepreneurs who are making an impact in their communities and industries.



 

Lisa Atallah is the Executive Director of Growe Foundation. Follow them on Facebook and learn more at www.growefoundation.org.

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?
Founded in 2006, Growe Foundation has been at the forefront of a national movement to teach children about healthy eating and caring for the environment. Our Boulder County nonprofit is committed to using experiential gardens as a teaching tool to educate children about the benefits of healthy eating and environmental stewardship. Our vision is to unite people around a shared goal of creating healthier children, schools, communities and the planet.

 

WHY DO YOU DO IT?
Education comes in many different forms throughout a child’s life and Growe believes that experiential learning is crucial to shaping children’s understanding, values and behavior. By providing children with engaging educational experiences that connect them to food, how it’s grown and why fruits and vegetables are essential to their diet, we aim to address the childhood health issues, including obesity, food allergies and chronic health problems, as well as the environmental problems facing society.

 

WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
Growe harnesses the deep passion of our dedicated community to deliver the Garden to Table Program with proven results in enhancing education through gardens. We offer easy-to-implement, garden-based, grade specific lessons to provide hands on learning for elementary school students across the Boulder Valley School District. Our online lesson plans are presented to our schools in a way that is easy for them to be integrated into their math, science, environmental studies, art, and nutrition classes. Our programs are currently at 20 area schools, 19 of which are in BVSD and 18 include garden maintenance as well as plants, irrigation systems, programs and support throughout the season. More than 9,100 students access our garden-based lessons, including 2,500 who qualify for Free and Reduced lunch meals. In the course of a year, more than 13,000 hours of garden based lessons are delivered through the Garden to Table programs

 

WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
Our children are our future; empowering them with a hands-on understanding of our planet, the food it produces and the impact on health will change their thinking about taking care of our environment.

 

WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
Providing hands-on educational programs in 20 more school gardens throughout Colorado.

 

WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
We need more sponsors, volunteers, and staff. We need community support. The total Growe Garden to Table program costs are $7,500 each year for each school. The schools pay a nominal fee, between $600-900/year and the Growe Foundation must fund raise the balance. Our donors and sponsors share our passion for teaching children about healthy eating choices, taking care of the environment, community building, and hands-on learning programs.

 

WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Fundraising.

 

WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
Plan. Share your story. Gather your community behind you.

 

HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
Please consider making a donation to the Growe Foundation. We are registered with ColoradoGives.org, or you can make a donation on our website, or you can attend our first annual Savor & Sample – A Growe Garden Gala on Saturday Sept. 9th, meet our board and staff, have a great time and learn more about what we do.

 


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