Botanical Gardens gets grant for Plant Pals program

GreysinRose Hall, 8, right, has finished placing mung beans in cup as a first step in growing bean sprouts, and NatalieRose Reid, 10, left, places plastic wrap over her bean sprout planter.
Children learn how to grow bean sprouts in an activity at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.

A unique field trip to the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens will be taken by 220 second-graders in the Buffalo Public Schools, thanks to a $2,500 grant from the Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation.

The grant will fund a portion of the Plant Pals program at the Botanical Gardens. Created in 2011 with a grant from the Margaret Whitehead Foundation, Plant Pals is aligned to the New York State Standards for Science and provides lessons for second-graders in the Buffalo Public Schools at no cost.

The students experience lessons on vegetables, fruits and grains. They begin to understand the plants we eat and the biology behind those plants.  Plant Pals also addresses the epidemic of childhood obesity by giving students hands-on lessons in proper nutrition.

Plant Pals paves the way for the Project Empower program at the Botanical Gardens, targeted to third-graders in the Buffalo Public Schools. The ultimate goal is to prepare students for fourth-grade science lessons that lead up to the New York State Science Assessment Test.

This is the second year in a row that the Botanical Gardens received the Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation grant.

 

Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

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