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Grow Your Brain is a “growing” not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote the health and wellness of children in La Crosse by having them learn at their schools the power and joy of gardening.
Teaching children how to garden has been shown to boost mood and to reduce stress. Gardening can promote children’s appreciation of healthy food, which is vital at a time of rising diabetes rates. Getting kids connected to nature and engaged in physical activity in the gardens improves their health, and gives them a positive outlet for their energy. Healthy kids connected to their school community are more likely to do well in school and avoid behavioral problems.
Gardening should start at the elementary level and go all the way through high school—we need to help our children develop life-long healthy habits!
Interactive gardens that engage our young learners are taking shape at both State Road and Hamilton/SOTA Elementary Schools. GYB hosted a Garden Party at State Road School where we unveiled six raised garden beds that have since been planted by volunteers and students. By fall, we hope to install a hoop house, irrigation system, and rain barrels. At Hamilton/SOTA, gardens are also being installed. At both schools, we are teaching children through garden-based activities, cooking demonstrations, and after-school gardening and cooking clubs.
Grow Your Brain seeks to be a national leader in promoting school gardening. Here in La Crosse, we are working collaboratively with La Crosse County’s Farm2School program, and aim to have gardens in as many La Crosse Public Schools as is possible.
None of this will be possible unless we can successfully raise funds. Our goal: $10,000 between June 1st and July 1st. Please consider giving a tax-deductible donation to enhance the lives of the children in La Crosse. We will send you an e-mail confirmation of donation for tax purposes. Please visit our website growyourbrainlax.org to see pictures and our blog. There are also instructions on how to send checks.
President, Grow Your Brain
Kari Bersagel Braley, Jamie O’Neill, Jason Austin, Amee Austin,
Caroline Wilker, Kaite Berkedal, Thippi Fleckenstein, Margi Hanson
Board Members, Grow Your Brain