California Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, helps students at College View School, a Glendale, Calif., school for kids with special needs, plant a school garden supported by a grant from Western Growers Foundation on May 20. The students planted strawberries, cucumbers, corn, peppers, beans and tomatoes.
California Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, helps students at College View School, a Glendale, Calif., school for kids with special needs, plant a school garden supported by a grant from Western Growers Foundation on May 20. The students planted strawberries, cucumbers, corn, peppers, beans and tomatoes.

Irvine, Calif.-based Western Growers Foundation and the California Department of Education plan to award $1,000 each to 100 preschools and childcare centers statewide to establish gardens.

The gardens, focused on vegetables and grains, will be created from plants, seeds and equipment funded by the grants, according to a news release.

The foundation will also distribute its school gardening guidebook, “Gardens for Learning,” and share resources from the revamped California School Garden Network website.

“Upon seeing corn from the stalk in the husk for the first time, one young student said, ‘Is this what I get at KFC?’” Western Growers vice president of marketing Paula Olson said Jan. 16 in the release. “School gardens create wonderful ‘aha’ moments for students to truly understand where their food comes from and the work behind growing what we like to call the best medicine in the world.”

The foundation is the charitable arm of Western Growers.