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Beverly Program Will Teach School Kids How to Grow Their Own Vegetables

As part of the Be Healthy Beverly initiative, the Greater Beverly YMCA, Beverly public schools and horticultural professionals from Green City Growers of Somerville, will showcase a new program that teaches kids how to grow their own vegetable garden.

This initiative, which aims to improve the health and well-being of Beverly citizens
spearheaded by the Greater Beverly Y in partnership with Beverly Hospital, is funded through a grant from the federal Centers of Disease Control (CDC).

The programs will teach students first-hand about healthy eating, nutrition and global agricultural and environmental issues through science, math and social studies courses, according to an announcement from the Greater Beverly YMCA.

All five Beverly elementary schools are participating in this program, each with three of their own raised vegetable garden beds making a total of 15 beds throughout the elementary school system.

City officials and teachers will kick off the program on Thursday Sept. 19 at a special ceremony scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Beverly’s Centerville Elementary School at 17 Hull St.

New research from Tufts University shows that community wide interventions can be an effective approach to reducing childhood obesity rates, the announcement said.

In addition, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted solely to public health Programs, Eastern Massachusetts recently reported a 12.4 percent drop in obesity rates among children under age six.

Between the years 2004 and 2008, childhood obesity has declined 21.4 percent in Eastern Massachusetts.