Education and Nutrition Flourish Together
Graham Ambrose reports on the work of Clayton Early Learning, "an early childhood care and education center in northeast Denver’s Clayton neighborhood, [which] uses community gardens to get children excited about eating healthy food."
Clayton is a food desert, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and low-income residents often struggle to find healthy food options. The entire of city of Denver struggles with childhood obesity, with nearly 1 in 3 children ages 2-14 overweight or obese [pdf], according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment figures cited by Ambrose.
"Clayton Early Learning instructors use the community gardens to curb those realities by offering a sustainable source of healthy produce for children and their families," writes Ambrose. "Clayton administrators say that fewer than 13 percent of the program’s 2- to 5-year-olds are overweight."