Friday, September 14, 2012

2012 HJCOPC "Heart of the Community" Award

On Friday, September 14th 2012, the Healthy Jacksonville Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition honored 11 individuals, groups and organizations that were nominated for going above and beyond the call of duty to raise awareness about healthy living and working to prevent and reduce childhood obesity in Duval County. Some had created programs or delivered services that improve the health of our children; all have lent their voices to ensure our community's children grow up healthy. The following were honored for the dedication and "heart" they share in working on behalf of children.

Of the 11 honorees, the following 4 honorees are involved with or are members of the Community Garden Network here at Friends of Northeast Florida Community Gardens.  We congratulate the Award recipients and invite you to read a little more about the wonderful work they are doing.


Susan Burns
R.V. Daniels Elementary School
Susan Burns is devoted to helping her students develop healthy behaviors at an early age. As a second-grade teacher at R.V. Daniels Elementary School. Mrs. Burns and her students work together to address childhood obesity through a series of service learning projects. Each year, her students serve as mentors to younger students and primary caregivers for the "Healthy Me!" garden. The "Healthy Me!" garden teaches students math and science in context when managing the garden budget, shopping for garden plants and supplies, and observing and charting the weather, as well as other related experiences. Additionally, the students coordinate "Munchy Mondays"and share nutrition information through student-researched posters. The program demonstrates how student work, nutrition and environmental education can be integrated into the core curriculum.


Sulzbacher Center
Children's Community Gardens
The Sulzbacher Center Children's Garden Program enables children who call the Center home to put down roots. Working with local gardeners, the students receive education about nutrition and the process of gardening.The success of the program has Led the Sulzbacher Center to implement a Farm-to-Table program, directly linking the Community Garden to the kitchen at the Sulzbacher Center, that ultimately feeds the children involved in the program.


Deonshai Spivey
Biltmore Elementary School
Deonshai Spievey isa fifth-grade student and president of the 4-H Club at Biltmore Elementary School. During the past two years. Deonshai has grown the 4-H program to more than 50 students and staff. As the chef for the school's "Healthy Fridays." Deonshai routinely appears on the school's morning newscast. Here, she speaks to her peers about the importance of developing healthy eating habits and demonstrates new ways to incorporate fresh foods into meal times. This school year. Deonshai will collect feedback and report her findings at the monthly Biltmore Health and Nutrition Advisory Council meetings.


R.V. Daniels Elementary School
Mrs. Burns' Second-Grade Class (2011-2012 School Year)
The successful initiatives of Mrs. Burns' 2011-2012 second-graders began to formulate in a science class and blossomed in subsequent brainstorming sessions. What resulted was the school's first community garden—a transformative learning environment for al lstudents thatattend class at R.V Daniels. To help realize their vision, these ambitious second-graders designed the garden and then applied for and received a grant through the Healthy Jacksonville Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition. During the school year, the garden has become a tool used to share what the class is learning with fellow students and visitors. Each student in Mrs. Burns' class had a role in developing and caring for the garden as well as planning for its future use. The students and their garden have left a lasting legacy at R.V. Daniels Elementary School that will be bountiful for years to come.