College center gets grant to plant fruit trees

NORWALK - Healthy living is taking root in the garden of the Child Development Center at Cerritos College.The center has been awarded Jamba Juice's "It's All About the Fruit" grant from the National Gardening Association. The $500 award will be used to purchase and plant fruit trees at the center. The center was one of 20 winners chosen from a pool of more than 500 applicants. The fruit trees will be incorporated into the already implement garden curriculum such as watering, pruning and feeding the trees, which will be part of the lessons children will engage in. When harvesting the fruit, it will be used in snacks and lunches for children. In 2009, the Child Development Center was nominated as an outdoor-classroom demonstration site by the Outdoor Classroom Project in Los Angeles County. The center serves as an example to other schools in Cerritos, Norwalk and surrounding communities to demonstrate the importance of investing in our environment. Children maintain and grow a vegetable garden, butterfly garden, herb garden and flower gardens. The children are able to see the sprouting of seeds, opening of buds and the growing and harvesting of garden vegetables. At the end of the summer they enjoy eating the vegetables raw or through a variety of cooking experiences. The herbs are integrated into the children's meals. The center plans to invite faculty from the college's Science Department and master gardeners from the Fullerton Arboretum to visit as guest speakers to provide expertise to the teachers and to further educate children about fruit trees and maintenance. "The new addition of fruit trees to our center represents our commitment to preserving the integrity of the natural growth processes of living organisms, as well as fulfilling our roles as teachers to nurture and raise environmentally conscious individuals to ensure longevity and augmentation of our natural resources," said Debra Ward, director of the Child Development Center.

********** Published: September 01, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 20