Salad days at inner-city school
Tyler Beckett wants to be a landscaper and the urban farming program on the roof of his inner-city school has greened his thumb.

“It’s helping get me prepare for a job when I’m done school,” said the 16-year-old Eastdale Collegiate Institute student in the Regent Park area.

“I like getting involved with the garden and helping the kids in school. We used to go to the corner and buy chips, now we are eating salads.”

Eastdale Collegiate is an “impoverished” high school and half the students function at a Grade 3 level, said principal Brian Hill.

These kids are from homes where buying fresh produce isn’t a priority, he said.

“As educators, we see the negative effects of poor eating habits and lack of healthy food literacy among students first hand. (Urban farming) is helping us educate our students about the importance of healthy eating and how to grow and prepare healthy food. It helps change their eating habits, gives them skills and instils in them life-long knowledge to make healthy food choices,” Hill said.

“Our kids can’t make it in a regular school. We have kids who didn’t go to school last year. They can come from homes from generational welfare families or where there are mental-health issues. Our kids could have a bad day because their parents didn’t come home last night. The kids have huge needs,” Hill said. READ MORE

Kevin Connor
October 15, 2017

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