Edgar Middle School Wins Healthy Futures Initiative Award

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Shortly before the end of the school year, school staff and leaders, families and community members joined students in the courtyard at Edgar Middle School in Metuchen for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the unveiling of their new greenhouse and garden. Representatives from the YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge and South Amboy celebrated alongside the students who built both the garden and greenhouse with grant funds provided by the YMCA. Edgar Middle School was one of thirteen area public schools that received grants this spring through the YMCA's Healthy Futures Initiative, which is funded through the Stop & Shop Family Foundation. The program is focused on building awareness for children and their families about the benefits of healthy nutrition and physical activity.

Schools received up to $2,000 to support a variety of school garden projects including installation of new vegetable and flower gardens, upgrades and improvements to existing gardens, greenhouse projects and school beautification projects. Build with Purpose, a Metuchen nonprofit, worked with the YMCA to implement the program. "The YMCA grant gave us invaluable support so that we could provide students with hands-on, experiential service-learning STEM projects that engage students in learning not only science content, nutrition, the scientific method and design thinking, but also in physical activity and opportunities to work collaboratively towards common, community service-based activities at school, after-school and during lunch." said Rick Cohen, Assistant Superintendent of Metuchen Public Schools. "The grant funds are a gift that will keep on giving as the garden and greenhouse will continue to provide experiential learning experiences and healthy foods that will serve our students for years to come."

"The students did a wonderful job on the greenhouse and garden," said Rose Cushing, YMCA District Executive Director. "We are thrilled to be able to see theimpact and end result that our grants are having on students and our schools." For more information contact Rose Cushing, District Executive Director, Child Care, YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge & South Amboy at 732-516-9200 extension 1109 or at Rose.Cushing@ymcaofmewsa.org.

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