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Hialeah Students Get New Community Garden To Grow Healthy Eating Habits

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - There's a new lesson being taught at James Bright Elementary, that's, let it grow.

"They like to participate, planting the seeds, watching the plants grow," Katia Leon, 3rd Grade Teacher said.

James H. Bright Elementary cut the ribbon on a new community garden Thursday morning. It'll do more than feed students when they ripen, it'll help provide food for thought towards good nutrition.

"We have talked about it and we are incorporating healthy eating habits into the science curriculum."

The garden came about through a coalition of leaders, from the City of Hialeah, the school board, and Fairlawn Community Neighborhood Ambassadors.

"The garden here was done, thinking of providing teachers tools in order to teach the kids how to eat healthily," Jose Sagarribay with FCNA said.

Nationally childhood obesity rates have risen, and Florida's rates while lower than many states, aren't great. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation tracks federal data, it calculated 17.8% of Florida youth ages, 10-17 have obesity. The trend hasn't dipped much in years.

"I think the new idea of saying food is medicine is everything we've been seeing across the globe," Dr. Debora Duro said.

Duro told CBS 4, increasing rates of diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure in adults are the result of poor diets in childhood.

"This engagement is very important because it's going to give them the power to have a healthy lifestyle," she added.

The vegetables may not be ripe yet, but it seems even long after they're gone, the lessons they teach could last a lifetime.

"I'm estimating another month before we can eat the vegetables," Leon said.

And among other things, it might also be a lesson in patience.

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