Assessing the Impact of a School Garden on the Attitudes of Children Towards Agriculture in Rural Western Kenya
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A school garden was established at the Bethlehem Home Academy by the Straw to Bread non-profit organization in rural western Kenya in 2012. This school serves very poor and often malnourished children from the Luo tribe on the Nyakach Plateau, a region dependent almost entirely on subsistence farming. In this area, prone to drought and agricultural hardship, it is important for young people to learn good techniques and have positive attitudes about farming in order to provide quality sustenance for themselves and their community. This study uses a sample of 63 students and teachers at the school to assess the Straw to Bread program's attempt to improve knowledge and attitudes about farming and nutrition in the target community of children of the Nyakach Plateau. Descriptive information about the garden and participants was gathered, and a knowledge assessment was administered to the older students to assess knowledge about agriculture. Results indicate that the school garden was effective at improving the attitudes of the children about farming, at introducing new foods to the children and surrounding community, and at teaching the children about farming technique. Future innovations will be based on these findings.