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Marcia Eames-Sheavly, Kristi S. Lekies, Leigh MacDonald, and Kimberly J. Wong

, and social skills ( Klemmer et al., 2005 ; Robinson and Zajicek, 2005 ; Waliczek and Zajicek, 1999). Children in many youth gardening projects take on horticultural tasks such as planting, weeding, and watering yet rarely participate in the planning

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Virginia I. Lohr

144 Workshop 20 (Abstr. 739–742) Horticulture: Its Role and Impact on Youth

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Mary Rogers, Illana Livstrom, Brandon Roiger, and Amy Smith

attitudes toward and preferences for these foods ( Heim et al., 2009 ). In urban areas, this can be achieved through schoolyard and community gardens. There is growing interest in the benefits of urban agriculture for youth education as evidenced by the

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Matthew J. Kararo, Kathryn S. Orvis, and Neil A. Knobloch

Eat Your Way to Better Health is a multisensory educational program established to reconnect youth with their food by having them grow and taste produce in an effort to provide education about healthy eating and increase fruit and vegetable

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Elizabeth J. Phibbs and Diane Relf

Results of research on youth gardening programs indicate a variety of benefits; however, most studies to date have encountered difficulties in separating treatment effect from confounding variables. A survey of those recently involved in this type of research was conducted to identify common problems and generate suggestions for improving future research efforts. Problems reported as most frequently encountered include difficulty with timing and logistics, lack of funding, and finding and keeping sufficient numbers of participants. Suggestions for obtaining stronger results include: allowing plenty of time for planning, establishing good communication with collaborators, choosing topics relevant to funding agencies and policy makers, and creating interdisciplinary studies that are longitudinal or large-scale collaborative efforts.

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Kimberly R. Hilgers, Cynthia Haynes, and Joanne Olson

The interest and use of gardens as educational tools for youth has increased in recent decades ( Dirks and Orvis, 2005 ; Lineberger and Zajicek, 2000 ). As the interest in school gardens has increased, so have the number of research studies

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Kathleen C. Ruppert

Most college professors spend little time helping youth (kindergarten to 12th grade) learn about horticulture, and the elementary and secondary schools seem to have created a dividing line between scientific concepts and practical life-long skills. Biology classes continue to emphasize the chemical processes of photosynthesis and deemphasize the nurturing, caring, dependability, responsibility, sense of accomplishment, and other life-long skills that can be obtained from growing plants. However, retail garden centers and chain stores are increasingly offering books and supplies on gardening and related activities for children. Seed companies market and package seeds just for children. Botanical gardens and arboretums are including youth horticultural activities as part of their on-going educational programs. The involvement of university educators in horticultural youth education can assist the “trickle up” theory to the parents of children along with affecting future voters. Take the first step to see what classroom horticultural materials are available in your state. Currently many teachers have an interest in learning more about horticulture but need educational materials. In addition, there is a large number of volunteers interested in this endeavor. Do your part and help develop accurate horticultural materials for these instructors to use in formal and informal educational settings.

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Kent Cushman and Crofton Sloan

A circular garden, divided into eight sections or “slices,” was established for the purpose of demonstrating agriculture to youth. Each section of the garden represents a form of agriculture associated with the consumption of pizza. Soybeans were planted to represent oil, wheat to represent flour, vegetables to represent tomato sauce and vegetable toppings, herbs to represent spices, and pine trees to represent paper and cardboard products. A dairy cow, beef cow, and pig were fenced within separate sections to represent cheese, beef, and pork, respectively. The idea originated in Madera, Calif., from Thank-a-farmer, Inc. and was used with permission. The garden is an ongoing cooperative effort between research and extension personnel of Mississippi State University, local county officials, and area schools. The project has garnered support from the Mississippi Cattle Industry Board (start-up and maintenance funds), Heritage Vinyl Products (fencing), D.P. Fence Co. (construction), and Dominoe's Pizza (pizza lunches for the youth). We anticipate at least 1000 school children to visit the “Pizza Farm” each year, and we expect the community to continue to support and take pride in this project.

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Mary E. Olien, Jere A. Brittain, and Brenda J Vander Mey

“Garden Experiences in Youth Development” is a two-credit, (one lecture, one lab) 400-level course offered each spring semester by the Dept. of Horticulture at Clemson Univ. For the past 3 years, the course has met the following specific needs: 1) requests by horticulture students for more experiences related to horticulture and human well-being; 2) opportunities for other majors whose careers will or may focus on children to learn and to use horticulture with children; 3) a source of adult leaders for an after school children's gardening program at the South Carolina Botanical Garden. The lecture portion addresses issues related to children in horticulture, planning nature and gardening related activities with children, as well as a general background in gardening for nonmajors. During the lab, the students gain hands-on experience working with children who participate in Sprouting Wings, an after school gardening program offered by the South Carolina Botanical Garden. A multi-source evaluation of the effectiveness of the course and the youth program is being conducted. The poster will present the course syllabus, copies of selected course readings, outlines of student generated projects, and the results of the program evaluation.

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Joel Flagler

Since 1992, Rutgers University-Cook College has been working with the New Jersey Dept. of Corrections and Division of Juvenile Services to develop and deliver training programs. One goal of this specialized training has been to make New Jersey's adjudicated youth more employable. Another goal has been to impart personal development skills that can lead to improved self-esteem and outlook.