Leitrim's national schools are invited to apply for free BIG GROW packs

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Leitrim Observer Reporter

Leitrim's national schools are invited to apply for free BIG GROW packs

Schools around Co Leitrim are invited to apply for their free BIG GROW packs.

GIY and innocent drinks have launched the eighth annual food growing initiative, a project that will enable 56,000 primary school children across the country to learn how to grow their own food this spring with ‘The innocent Big Grow'.

Over the last seven years, innocent and GIY have enabled more than 171,000 school children in Ireland to have their first growing experience in classrooms through the supply of seeds, grow pots, compost and expert growing advice and tips.

The 2019 initiative is now open for Primary schools across the country to apply for a free Big Grow pack to be delivered to their school via innocentbiggrow.com. This year the pupils will learn how to grow peas, cress and tomatoes. Each Big Grow pack includes enough soil, growing pots, seeds for a class of thirty along with an expert food growing kit devised by GIY plus details on how to cook and eat the produce that each child has grown.

Speaking at the launch GIY founder Michael Kelly said, "Studies show that children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables and show higher levels of knowledge about nutrition. The children not only learn the science of growing, they also experience the joy of growing and eating their own food. GIY calls this ‘Food Empathy', which is a deeper connection with food, and is proven to lead to a healthier life long-term. We are delighted to launch this initiative again with innocent and we hope these life lessons continue all of the children who take part right into adulthood."

Marketing Manager at innocent drinks Ireland, Ali Gibbons, said: “We are big fans of fruit and veg at innocent and we are exceptionally proud of The Big Grow as it is a fun way of teaching children how to grow their own. Over the past 8 years, we have reached nearly half of all primary schools in Ireland with this initiative with students learning about the importance of healthy food. We would encourage teachers to sign up today for their free Big Grow pack so we can see even more students getting involved in 2019.

The campaign has been developed closely with teachers and educational specialists to develop a series of detailed lesson plans that provided credible and engaging content for teachers to use in the classroom. It will encourage a knowledge of where food comes from, teaching children through a fun, free, learning experience just how easy it is to grow their own greens and enjoy the taste of their own food. It will also drive a series of learning as once schools are registered they can keep a growing blog online and for every school that does, they receive a Big Grow certificate but the most engaged or the ‘Best' Big Grow school will win a trip to Bloom for their class, a trip to Dublin Zoo and €500 worth of gardening equipment for the school; the winning school will be presented with their prizes at Bloom 2019 hopefully by the President. Two runners-up prizes of a €300 and a €200 GIY voucher are also up for grabs.

Visit innocentbiggrow.com to register for a free innocent and GIY Big Grow pack which includes everything a class of 30 needs to get growing, this includes seeds for peas, cress and tomatoes, sowing cups, compost, a teacher's resource booklet which includes lots of fun and educational activities which complement the school curriculum, a wall chart to map weekly growing successes, veggie stickers and a ‘Star Grower’ badge for those top growers

#TheBigGrow @innocentireland @giyireland