Gardens of the Galaxy
When the students of Annalee Avenue Elementary School in Carson, California, return to classes this fall, they may be surprised to find that a brand-new vegetable garden has been constructed on the grounds of the school. They’ll be even more surprised to learn that some of their favorite soccer stars helped build it.
Herbalife Nutrition and the LA Galaxy have teamed up with the Garden School Foundation, whose mission is to build school gardens as sites to teach students the importance of caring for their bodies, their communities, and the earth.
On August 8, 2019, Galaxy superstars Jonathan dos Santos and Sebastian Lletget joined Director of Sports Performance and Education Dana Ryan, Ph.D., MBA, M.A., Co-president and Chief Health & Nutrition Officer John Agwunobi, M.D., MBA, M.P.H., and a slew of volunteers from Herbalife Nutrition and the Galaxy to dig up grass, build raised planting beds, spread mulch and soil, and plant the first crop of vegetables in the new school garden.
Annalee Avenue Elementary students will have two garden-related classes each month, according to Garden Educator Dana Swarth. “The first class will teach garden science; learning how to identify and care for plants, as well as basic garden maintenance.”
The second class will cover cooking and nutrition. Each student will get the opportunity to create their own dish using the vegetables that they’ve helped grow themselves. Ms. Swarth has also implemented a “Two Bite Club” at her schools, encouraging “brave tasters” to experience new foods that they may not try otherwise.
The students will also be treated to a new mural by graffiti artist and Herbalife Nutrition Senior Designer Hugo Garcia, who got an assist from Jonathan dos Santos and Sebastian Lletget. After a few hours of planting kale, herbs, strawberries, broccoli and cauliflower, the two midfielders were more than happy to trade in their rakes and shovels for paintbrushes and palettes.
Thanks to the efforts of the Garden School Foundation, Herbalife Nutrition and the LA Galaxy, all involved helped plant the seeds for a lifetime of healthy nutrition for the students.
Are you interested in learning more about the Garden School Foundation and how you can get involved? Click here to learn more.