"My kids are always telling me what they are eating. Many didn't know what protein was or how it can effect the body, so after our classes they were all really impressed with themselves."

- Andi-K Barsch, Cooper Elementary Service Member

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Cooper Elementary is a K-4 public school in Bella Vista, AR. Mercy Hospital and Cooper partnered with General Mills to create a School/Community Garden and fitness trail, to promote health awareness, through giving our community the tools to be successful. We currently have 7 20-30ft long beds and plan to plant an orchard in the Fall. We plan to allow the children to eat as much of the food as they wish and would ultimately like to bring the food into the hospital and cafeteria to be prepared for consumption.

The GardenCorps Service member will educate our children on the nutrient benefits of fruits and vegetables and how to grow and prepare these foods, while introducing these new foods through taste samples within the school.

 Bio andikheart

Andi-k Heart

My name is andi-K Heart. I am a mother to a lovely daughter, itali Ane, that gets to attend the same school I serve. We are currently building our very own homestead, as we have a desire to serve our community through being self sufficient. We can and grow our own foods. We make our own salves and healing tinctures of all kinds, and we farm chickens and rabbits, for eggs and fertilizer. We have a dream to supply our community with good healthy compost that they can be proud to put on their plants.

I was raised in Northwest Arkansas mainly, however have traveled to nearly 37 states, or so. I have moved 89 times and have been to 22 different schools. In my travels I discovered what works and what doesn't work and the needs of our communities. I have also met many people that desire to get back to the land, however, seem confused on where to begin. I desire to show them a way, while they discover their own unique path.

I have had a dream for years to work in school systems to remind kids what real food is, how to eat it, why we should eat it, and what our bodies truly need to function well. I am able to teach kids at our schools the medicinal benefits (nutrients) of fruits and vegetables, how to breathe well, the importance of stretching, how to get adequate amounts of water and how this all helps us grow into strong beings. All the things plants need to grow strong and healthy, as well. Thus far we are successful and the kids love their whole foods and grow daily proud of themselves for making healthier choices.

Thursday the 17th. .