BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — As students start to finish one of the most unprecedented school years it is finally time for summer camp and one organization is looking to not only take students outside but also into the kitchen.
The Edible Schoolyard Kern County offers a hands-on curriculum through fresh gardening and cooking. But this year they partnered with Dignity Health and Mercy Memorial hospitals to provide select students with a free opportunity.
“She is just so excited to come here everyday. She’s been telling me she wishes she could live here because she could just live in the garden all day,” said parent Shawn Moreno.
Shawn’s daughter, Marilyn is just one student from the Boys and Girls Club of Kern County attending the Edible Schoolyard summer camp this week.
When Marilyn first arrived, she was: “Amazed, it looked very pretty, I love how there was a lot of vegetables, I love how there was corn.”
Every day the students get to pick fresh produce in the garden and then head to the kitchen and learn to cook a healthy meal.
“They're harvesting the food and taking it into the kitchen, which is really neat because they’re just so used to seeing it from the grocery store so when she’s actually picking it, cleaning it, and cooking it I think it's so much better,” explained Shawn.
Marilyn and fourteen other students from the Boys and Girls Club are able to attend the program for free thanks to scholarships from Dignity Health otherwise they may not have been able to attend.
“Unfortunately, she probably wouldn't have been able to," said Shawn. "So, I am really glad she was able to experience this. She completely enjoyed it and I know she’s not gonna want to leave.”
Now the Edible Schoolyard is looking to continue expanding the program.
“And as we continue to see our program grow, having students from every single pocket of this community be able to attend our program is absolutely fantastic," said Dylan Wilson, the program manager at Edible Schoolyard Kern County.
And students are taking their healthy lifestyle with them.
“I’ve never seen her eat so many vegetables until she got here,” said Shawn.
Marilyn says she is happy she chose to try the vegetables.
“Now yes, because the motto is try everything, and I’m glad I did.”
And with so many families looking for summer camps for kids, unfortunately, officials from the camp told 23ABC this year the camp sold out within minutes. The next opportunity for the Edible Schoolyard camp will be this fall. You can find that information on their website.