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New program allows students to explore healthy diets by growing own food

Learn, Grow, Eat and Go! affiliated with Texas A&M AgriLife

This is the first year for the Learn, Grow, Eat and Go! program through the Junior Master Gardener and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.  

On Wednesday, about 70 third-graders got a dream day at school when teachers allowed them to play in dirt. 

The goal at Baskin Elementary on the Northwest Side was to teach the kids healthy life skills.

"This is a great idea," said principal Karen Rose, "They are really dirty, like I'm going to send these kids home in a little bit and they are really going to be dirty."

Parents probably won't rave about the stains in the school uniforms, but the people with the program say teaching kids how to plant, water, and prepare vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage, will help keep these third-graders healthy.

While the mess is part of the fun, the end game is for the students to learn how to care for the vegetables themselves.

"I think they'll be excited," said future dietitian Marisa Suter, who is helping with Learn, Grow, Eat and Go!

Student Ashton Vasquez said the experience was all new to him. He likes this because it is something he can do.

"Not just sit out and watch," Vasquez said.

While funding for the program remains uncertain, school leaders said they will do the program again next school year.

"It's, it's fun," said student Darryl Ross.