Remote school gardens: Exploring a cost-effective and novel way to engage Australian Indigenous students in nutrition and health Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • OBJECTIVE: This pilot study aimed to determine the feasibility of a novel, low-cost program to get remote schools started in gardening and nutrition activities, for a lower cost than existing models, and without on-the-ground horticultural support. METHODS: A multi-site, mixed methods case study was undertaken, in which four remote schools were shipped gardening materials and a nutrition and cooking resource, and provided with horticultural support by phone and email. A support register and teacher surveys were used for four months of evaluation. RESULTS: The study demonstrated that the program is feasible, and may be associated with an increase from baseline in student's time spent cooking, gardening and on related classroom activities. CONCLUSIONS: The program was delivered economically without the need for on-the-ground staff, in a manner that was acceptable to teachers. IMPLICATIONS: This model may have application in remote schools throughout Australia, where there is a need to alter health impacting behaviours in high-risk populations. Lengthier program evaluation times and further resource development may be worth investigating in the future.

authors

  • Hume, A
  • Wetten, A
  • Feeney, C
  • Taylor, S
  • O'Dea, K
  • Brimblecombe, J

publication date

  • 2014