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Anneliese Students Awarded Garden Grant from Max Love Project

Our Anneliese students were awarded a garden grant from Max Love Project and put their gardening and eco-literacy knowledge to the test. Students from the Willowbrook Campus recently created a proposal for a garden grant from Max Love Project, a nonprofit organization “with a mission to increase quality of life and reduce health risks for families surviving childhood cancer and related rare diseases.” The children presented their proposal at Tanaka Farms, where Max Love held their annual Walk for Kids event.

The students worked the crowd at the event educating attendees about Anneliese and our eco-literacy and gardening efforts. They explained challenges that we face in the garden at Willowbrook: pests like squirrels and mice, which are native to our location in the Laguna Canyon, invading their plantings before they can thrive.

The grant money would pay for educational materials and supplemental equipment that would be housed inside a new greenhouse structure at the Willowbrook Campus, which the school just successfully fundraised for through our yearly Fun Run event. Growing crops inside a controlled and enclosed environment will help students to monitor and observe their plantings without pest interference.

With the help of staff and Nourishment Program Director Andrew Johnson, the children served Walk for Kids guests scratch-made stinging nettle pesto with croutons for dipping. Stinging nettle is native to the Laguna Canyon, and when cooked properly is a delicious leafy green packed with many health benefits.

Watching our students explain what they learn weekly from Ms. Aileen, their gardening teacher, about the relationship between food, nutrition, and health was so inspiring.

And our students’ efforts paid off! We are honored to have been awarded a $500 grant from sponsor, Better Living SoCal, to enhance our gardening program. Thank you to Max Love Project for letting us be a part of such a beautiful event.