Document Type

Service Learning/Capstone Experience

Graduation Date

5-2018

Degree Name

Master of Public Health

Department

Health Promotion

First Committee Member

Dr. Courtney Parks

Second Committee Member

Dr. Jennie Hill

Third Committee Member

Nathan Morgan

Abstract

The Big Garden is a private 501-c3 organization, which utilizes multiple programs to grow healthy food, healthy kids, and healthy communities. The “Garden to Table” program helps students learn how to grow vegetables and herbs in their school garden as well as how to properly harvest, cook, and preserve these crops through various methods. This program specifically highlights STEAM education through plant science and organic gardening techniques, nutrition, and healthy lifestyles. In 2017, the “Garden to Table” program was taught after school at 5 middle schools in Omaha Public Schools: Marrs, McMillan, Monroe, Lewis and Clark, and King Science Center. The goal of this project is to assess the effectiveness of the Big Garden’s “Garden to Table” program through direct observation of children’s understanding of weekly topics, levels of physical activity involved, and engagement in weekly activities in a newly developed observation tool. One site was chosen for this pilot study and the evaluator was on site directly observing the lessons each week during the program. A direct observation tool was created to record attitudes, knowledge, and behavior of the children during the lessons towards fruits and vegetables and piloted during the site visits. A quantitative analysis of the Big Garden’s “Garden to Table” program can provide evidence of the effectiveness of the curriculum in increasing positive outcomes and can also be used to identify any gaps in the curriculum and strengthen future lessons. Evidence of effective programming can lead to more funding opportunities and expansion for The Big Garden, thus reaching more children in need.

Included in

Public Health Commons

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