Milwaukee, Wisc. (May 2, 2019)—The Northwest Opportunities Vocational Academy (NOVA) in Milwaukee has been awarded an Apples4Ed grant by the U.S. Apple Association (USApple) to provide funding for the creation of a student-managed agricultural area at the school. The $4,000 grant is one of five being given this year by USApple to help schools provide access to nutritious foods while teaching students about sustainable, healthy eating patterns.

“While we received numerous applications from across the nation, NOVA High School separated itself with its strong community focus and hands-on curriculum that aims to solve real-world issues,” said USApple President and CEO Jim Bair. “Growers and farmers can certainly identify with these deep-seated core values.”

The school plans to use to the grant to create an outdoor garden, greenhouse and aquaponics, whereby students can gain hands-on experience growing healthy foods. In the classroom, students will use engineering, math and science to plan, create and maintain the agricultural area. Located in a food desert without grocery stores, the school plans to provide produce to the community center and neighborhood through pop-up farm stands and other initiatives.

NOVA was founded in 1993 as an alternative, school-to-work program for “at-risk” students residing on the northwest side of Milwaukee. One hundred students in grades 7-12 are offered a full day program, which leads to a high school diploma.

“Age, income, education, time and access all combine to make healthy living seem like an unobtainable goal to our students,” wrote NOVA science teacher Jennifer Parr in her Apples4Ed application. “By combining agriculture with our community needs this project will be invaluable, allowing us to make an important, life-altering difference for our students, their families and our community.”

Other 2019 Apples4Ed recipients so far include the Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore, Md., and the Rensselaer City School District in New York. The remaining two schools will be publicly recognized later this month. Applications for 2020 Apples4Ed funding will open in August.

Apples4Ed is a program created by USApple, in partnership with the School Nutrition Association and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, to financially award schools that encourage daily consumption of healthy, balanced snacks that positively impact student achievement, focus and fitness. To learn more, visit apples4ed.com.

U.S. Apple Association is the national trade association representing all segments of the apple industry. Members include 40 state and regional associations representing the 7,500 apple growers throughout the country, as well as more than 400 individual firms involved in the apple business.

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Tags: Apple4Ed